“You promise you won’t be upset if it’s a boy?” said the nurse looking at both Tracy and me. Our eyes were glued to the flat screen TV that showed our baby moving all about. The anticipation in the room was thick. We were certain that our first child was going to be a girl. What the nurse said next blew our mind. “Well, it’s a boy!” Shocked. For months we just knew that little Amelia was on her way. We we’re definitely caught off guard, but not in a bad way. We were overwhelmed with joy and surprise. It felt like discovering we were pregnant all over again. “Luke…” is the first word that came out of my mouth.
People don’t know the extent of the pain and tragedy that I have experienced at the hand of my father. We didn’t have a very good relationship when I was younger, but when I left for college he became my best friend. I remember long conversations into the night about everything ranging from philosophy, politics, Jesus, and science fiction. There was no one in the world who knew me better, or who could comfort me like him. We look nothing alike, but our personalities are so similar. It’s probably why we got along so well when I grew up.
Our relationship was shattered and our family was torn apart because of the devastating choices he made as a man. Jesus has healed my heart and I have forgiven him, but it can still be hard at times. I constantly have to fight the lies that I am alone, that no one really understands me, or that in some way I’m handicapped because I don’t have him anymore. Over the years, I’ve dreamed and longed for the opportunity to build into and love a son of my own; to make up for the wrongs that my father committed.
I know firsthand how important a father – son relationship can be to a young man’s life. I know what it’s like to lose that relationship and feel the void in your heart. We wonder why there is so much pain that people harbor in their hearts and violence going on in our cities; the statistics are clear, men aren’t stepping up and fathering their sons.
I won’t be a perfect father. I will make mistakes, but I will do everything I can to love Luke and teach him what he needs to know to become a mighty man of God. Last week, the verse I used for the prayer of my baby was in Luke 1:76-77. I read that verse aloud several times and “my little son” resonated in my heart. I started to imagine what it would be like to have a boy. Go figure that the verse I used was in the book of Luke. He’ll be the fifth man in a row to bear the name Harold (as a first name) in my family, but we’ll make sure he goes by his middle name.
In Latin, Luke means light or bringer of light and truth. I think the meaning of his name is perfect for what I envision of him, someone that will shine brightly in a dark world; a man who will have an open heart illuminated by the love of God. He will know the truth, it will set him free, and he will radiate that truth from his words and actions. This morning, Tracy was reading Luke 1 and picked out some points that we are going to start praying over him.
But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
My son will bring an immense amount of joy and gladness to many people’s lives. He will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He will be strong in spirit because I will teach him how to walk in holiness before the Lord. God desires absolute holiness (Ez 43:12, 2 Cor 7:1). Having the spirit and power of Elijah requires one to walk in radical holiness and purity. That is why John the Baptist could never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. His calling was so great that in order to fulfill it the Holy Spirit had to flow and flourish in him. There could be no room for potential distractions and hindrances in his walk with God.
Tracy and I are praying that like John the Baptist, Luke would be set apart for a special purpose. Finally, I hope that God would somehow use him as a catalyst to bring healing to my family and reconciliation with my father. We’re praying this passage of scripture over Luke every day. I am so excited. I love him and I don’t even know him yet.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe writing about my son, Harold Luke Briscoe. Thanks for reading.