I hold the worldseed in my hands. It is the beginning of every story, the possibility of myriad roads through countless lands under untold stars.
I hold my new child.
Today I have set aside the tall, tall hat of the showman and the cigarette of the worldstore salesman. Today I am simply me, a father holding his child, gazing into the face of the impossible.
She is not my first child. All my children were like this, though. Every child has this. So many possibilities that the chains of what-could-be stretch from her like bright threads in a web so thick it is hard to move her.
Do you see, can you fathom, how many stories lie here in my hands?
The story of how she came to be, from her mother and I? How we were happy with the children we had, and then God laughed at us and gave us another? How she grew an unexpected blessing?
How she was struck by a foul ball two weeks before her birth? (Well, really, my wife was struck, but she happened to be just on the other side of the skin where the ball hit.) Right over there is the baseball, now bearing her footprints. Already the nurses tell each other about the mother with the bruise and the baby with a baseball.
Already she bears the stories of her siblings. They have told of her to all their classmates and many more beside.
Already she bears the stories from her grandparents, bursting with pride.
And these are the stories she already bears. What tales will spring from this one?
Stories of a fabled baseball career jumpstarted by a foul ball before she was even born?
Rumors of a great leader who gathers her people and guides them to safety?
Legends of the woman who stood in the face of hatred and dared to love?
Myths of the mother who cared for her children despite their sin?
All of these and so, so many more could flow from her. But soon she will be united to the greatest story of all.
Sunday she will be baptized. Sunday she will be claimed as a member of God’s story. She will be united to a Man who died on a hill to crush a serpent so it would not strike her. She will be claimed by One who died and rose again three days later. She will be washed in water and the Word.
In other words, as many stories as weave about her now, she will be woven into the greatest tapestry ever imagined and take her place in a story so much bigger than any of us can imagine now.
Yes, little one. So many stories in you and about you already, and so many more to be told.
This is my daughter. The daughter of one who weaves worlds of words. Soon the daughter of One who wove the world with his Words and continues to write.
And her story is just beginning.