The Phone Didn’t Ring

A friend of mine, Andrew, recently wrote this on his birthday:

The phone didn’t ring this morning.

It’s not really all that often that the landline rings but today, normally, it would ring and it would be Mum.
She’d call after 7am, not wanting to call too early, but before 7:30am so she could be sure of catching me before I left.

But the phone didn’t ring this morning.

Whenever it rang, Chris and I would share a look, knowing it was Mum. I’d answer and she’d say, “Happy birthday, darling.”
And we’d chat, she’d ask me about what plans we had, if I’d received her card, and check if I’d heard from any of my siblings – which, of course, I hadn’t at that point, as Mum was always the first to call.

But the phone didn’t ring this morning.

At a point in the conversation Mum would always say, “I woke up this morning and was thinking about the day you were born…” And she would tell me the same story. It’s pretty much been a birthday tradition since I moved out of home back when I was seventeen – the first call of the day, the chat and then the story.

But the phone didn’t ring this morning.

The story Mum would always tell me was about Dad.
I’m the youngest of 7, but mine was the first birth Dad was present for. It was only in the 70s that husbands were encouraged to be part of the birth.
Mum would always tell me that the midwives couldn’t believe that Dad already had 6 children. “You’d think this was his first child,” they kept saying.
I can picture the smile Dad would have had on his face as he greeted each of his children for the first time. It’s a smile I can easily see in my mind.
I’m not special because Dad was present at my birth – I’m sure I got one of those same smiles that each of my siblings received.
But I know how precious the time Chris and I spent together was, while she was doing her superhero thing and bringing our two amazing children into the world. I know how close we felt and how much more I fell in love with this incredible woman. And I know it was written all over my face as I greeted, first Lucy, then Henry.
And this is what I’m sure those midwives could see in Dad’s face.
The joy of becoming a Dad again, sure. But also the overwhelming joy, awe and love that he felt for Mum in that moment.
I can also picture the smile on Mum’s face, at the other end of the phone, as she told me this story every year when she called me on my birthday.

The phone didn’t ring this morning.

But I took a moment, after 7 but before 7:30, and thought about my Mum, my Dad and this special moment that happened between them in the first minutes of my life.

Life is not always easy. There are definitely highs and lows involved. But it’s important every now and again to take a moment.

That moment might be to rejoice in a special day. It might be to allow grief a moment to express itself. It might be to just take a breath.

In the Bible we read “Be still and know that I am God”. When we take a moment, no matter what feelings the moment may bring, it is there that we meet God.

Lord, You are there in all our moments. May we find time to be still and know You today. Amen.

Take a moment. What does your quiet moment bring you today?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.