Friday, January 02, 2009

The First Newsletter Article about My Nephew

My nephew, Levi Hunter Martin, made the news yesterday for being the official New Year's baby at Dalton, Georgia's only hospital, and I wanted to share the article with everyone.

It's amazing how such a little guy can instill so much love and awe. He's a little bundle, not even two feet long and just under 7 1/2 pounds, yet he is more amazing to me than the grandest European cathedral or the most intricate Bach fugue or the most ancient California redwood.

I think that holding my little nephew and humming to him will go down as one of the favorite New Year's Day experiences of my life.

Enjoy reading the article: "Dalton's first baby arrives early."

An Open Letter to Levi Hunter Martin

I wanted to write this letter to my nephew, and I thought it might be good to post here on my blog. Maybe it will prompt some other open letters to Levi. Please continue in your prayers for him as he continues to grow.

To my nephew,

I am sitting here writing you this message just minutes before midnight on the day of your birth. I had to write to you to remember this day, to express my love for you, and to share what’s on my heart and the prayers and hopes I have for your life. Holding you in my arms this evening and humming “Edelweiss,” “Because He Lives,” and Brahm’s “Lullaby” was surreal. You were finally here, yet you were not fully aware that anyone had been waiting for you or even who these people were who were passing you around like some vase from the era of an ancient Chinese dynasty. The truth is: you are far more precious than some work of art created with clay. God knew you before He decided to form you in the womb of my sister, and He knows the very hairs of your little red head. God took great care in designing you to the minutest detail, and He has entrusted your parents and our whole family to bear His image by likewise caring for you and the smallest aspects of you and your life.

When I first heard your mom was pregnant with you, part of me was fearful that I would miss this day. I lived in Louisville, Kentucky up until the end of the summer this year. So, there was the chance that, had I been living up there, I might not have been able to be here, but God has seen fit to move me back to Chatsworth, Georgia. I think that you are a big part of the reason that God led me back here. I hope, by God’s grace, to love you with all I have. I hope, by God’s grace, to be an instrument of grace in your life, helping teach you the truth of the Bible. I hope, by God’s grace, to be here and see you come to recognize who God is (the holy Creator who is sovereign Lord of all), who you are (a sinner in desperate need of the Savior, Jesus), who Christ is (a loving Savior who calls sinners to come to Him), and the call to repent and believe the gospel, trusting in Christ alone. This is the gospel. It is true. It is important. It is life-changing. I pray God will save you at an early age and fashion you to be a vessel of honor. Nothing would bring me more joy than to see God raise you up as a valiant servant in such a time as this. This is life worth living, a life lived to “glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

I feel compelled to apologize, in advance, for the memories I won’t be able to share with you. I'm sorry if I miss out on some memorable experiences as you grow up. Most likely, I will miss birthday parties and concerts or sporting events that you may be a part of. I may not be around when you bring home your first buck after being out deer hunting with your dad. It may be that I’m studying at seminary. Or, it may be that I’m pastoring a church somewhere, many hours away. Or, it may be that I’m a missionary in South America. Or, it may be that I am pouring out my life for the cause of the gospel in some land far from Chatsworth, Georgia. Wherever I might be, please know that your Uncle Kenny loves you and will be praying for you.

Well…I had high hopes for this message, but I still didn’t get to say all the things I wanted to say. Sleep is calling. There may be a “part two” to this message in the days to come. Most likely, this “part two” may extend itself into conversations and sharing life together in the years to come.

I’m looking forward to talking about the faithful promises of our God as we “sit in the house...walk by the way…lie down…and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7, ESV). More than anything, I pray that the laws and promises of our God will be written on your heart in a holy ink that will not smudge.

With Much Love & Joy,
Uncle Kenny