Our baby girl, Selah Hikari (聖愛 ひかり), was born last Friday August 15th! Here is a video I made of her with me the first few moments just after being born. My voice seemed like it stopped her crying… And I’m not just saying that because I’m a new father who loves his little girl. I talked to her a lot with Kaori while Selah was still in the womb and I think it makes a difference in how she responds to me now.
Selah is doing well and mama is recovering from the birth. I expected the labor to be longer, like at least fifteen hours or something but it only lasted four hours. We had a really good doctor and he even let me cut the umbilical cord.
August 15th has significance in Japan… Not only for being the birthday of our baby girl. It’s the day Japan calls Shusen-kinenbi, 終戦記念日, “Memorial day for the end of the war.” As well, obon in Japan usually comes to an end August 15th. You could say that obon is similar to the United States’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a time when people return to their hometown to be with family. The spiritual significance though is very different, I wrote about it here if your interested in learning more.
Spirituality… I’ve become very spiritual it would seem over the past decade. It’s been an ever growing and changing process ever since I became a Christian back in college. And I’m not just talking about the title of ‘Christian,’ I have a real relationship with the God of all Creation. The Trinity, one God in three persons; the Father, the son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as revealed in the bible. Jesus Died for my sins and everything that separated me from the Father’s love and His presence in my life is alive via the Holy Spirit. Jesus resurrected from death and went back to heaven about two thousand years ago but God’s presence is still with us by the Holy Spirit, and he’s still working on me. I’m not just spiritual or just a Christian, we follow Jesus Christ by the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.
I like the way Pastor Mark Driscoll out of Seattle once put it, just being ‘spiritual’ is like randomly dialing a phone number and entrusting yourself and all your personal information to whoever picks up the phone… He said something to that effect. That’s dangerous and you wouldn’t do that. Just as I also wouldn’t take my daughter to a playground and leave her with a complete stranger. The same applies spiritually. A guy named John, who spent about three years learning from Jesus and wrote five books of the New Testament of the bible, said do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God (1 John 4:1-3).
In the video above I told Selah that one way God has told us to refer to him is as Father and that he shares that name with me that I would love her, instruct her, and point her to her true Father… Her Heavenly Father. That is healthy spirituality! and it is just as important as making sure that all of her daily needs like food, water, shelter, and so on are provided for. Food is not the only thing we need to feed on (Deuteronomy 8:3). Ultimately it’s God who would be the one to open Selah’s heart to Him if He chooses to do so (Ephesians 1:3-6). Whatever God’s plan for Selah’s life I know that he wants me as a father to love her with the love he continues to give me through Jesus.
Jesus, I pray that my little girl would know you. I know that it’s your Spirit that opens hearts to receive the gospel and I’m praying that Selah’s heart would be open to you. I pray that she would see her sin and her need for your forgiveness. I pray that in your arms she would have no reason to fear, I’m praying that you would be with her. Guard her against evil spirits and those whom they influence. No matter what life process you have in store for her please help me know how to be there for her in a way that honors and glorifies you and helps and loves her practically. Please Lord give her wisdom an discernment in life spiritually and life in general for your glory, kingdom, and her well being.