One of the first things I remember my parents telling me about my birth was that I was born dead. No breath in my body. The umbilical cord wrapped three times around my neck – a still, lifeless, blue-faced baby.
And because they were teenage hippies, living in a strict, religious commune, my birth day unfolded far from any hospitals and doctors that might have been equipped for such a medical emergency. Instead, I was born into the hands of a midwife in the crowded bedroom of a rundown house, part of a compound shared by forty or so other people in a sketchy part of town. The only life-saving measure available to them in that place was prayer. And so they prayed. Word was passed from person to person, room to room: the baby’s not breathing; pray.
Finally, after several long minutes had gone by –more than anyone thought possible to still sustain life, God heard their prayers and answered with breath in my lungs. It was a miracle, they said. I shouldn’t be alive. But I was.
Because of this, even as a small child, I always had the sense that I had cheated death somehow. That every day I got to live, breathing, was one more than I should have had.
Life is a gift.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23