Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church

Audrey’s Theme

March 30th, 2011 by Pastor David Echelbarger
[audio:|titles=2-05 Adagio in E flat, Op. posth. 14]

Audrey in the Hall

Audrey Claire was born to my son David and my daughter-in-law Becky on February 20, making us grandparents for the first time.  We had long expected the child’s arrival, but it became very real as Becky went into labor and we climbed into the car to drive straight through to Texas.  Once we were inside the Texas boarder, the phone rang to say they were in serious labor.  As it happened, we would arrive in time.  Christine was fumbling with the controls on the car’s Ipod as we heard this news.  We had been listening to oldies to keep us alert as we continued our drive to the hospital.  Christine’s thumb missed a button and suddenly instead of Steppenwolf, Schubert’s Adagio in Eb Op. 148 began playing.  This music is a trio for Piano, violin and cello.  It is one of the loveliest pieces on this earth.  I immediately connected it with the child that was soon to be born.    It would become ever in my mind: “Audrey’s Theme.”  It begins in a gentle song without words genre – and then rises up with a surprising assertive power, like being lifted on a wave, only to drift again into the delicate beauty of pizzicato strings.   And then again, it arises!     (You can click on the arrow above, and listen to this music as you read this.) 

The New Family

I first saw her lying in the baby cart, in the hall outside of the delivery room waiting.  For a moment we were alone, the two of us.  She was wrapped tight in a little blanket and I loved her immediately.  Although perhaps it was not so immediate –she has been growing in our hearts even as she literally grew under Becky’s.

Audrey had begun her journey.  She had some amniotic fluid in little lungs, and for other precautionary reasons she was to spend three days in the neo-natal-intensive care unit.   There she was given oxygen, and a small tube to suction any remaining fluid.  But even as a newborn, she rose up, (like her musical theme) and somehow removed both the oxygen and the tube neither of which was replaced.  From that moment, she has not stopped rising, as she has become the image of vitality.

When one holds a newborn, they are themselves reborn.  I have been reborn a father twice and now reborn a grandfather.  The family is growing, love is ever growing. “See what love the Father gives?” 

After a Bath

Her little life has begun to unfold.  She loves her bath, loves to be held, enjoys the morning sun, appreciates the benefit of cloth diapers (discerning child), likes the circling fan above and can cut loose a heavy lunged cry when necessary. 

I have held her long hours, but they are not enough.  Even as they are held a child is speeding away from its parents.  It is important to realize that early. There is nothing stationary about life.  A child is a journey to be shared; a journey to guide and direct.   Even while she was drifting, tumbling, forming, in the great primordial sea inside her mother, she was moving forward.  We come from God and we go to God.  Throughout the entire journey we are God’s.  To hold Audrey Claire is to hold both what is fleeting and eternal.  Love is not a possession.  Love a gift that grows us to the Giver.  This moment I more fully experience the love of God, given in the infant life of Audrey Claire.   For this new and wonderful life, soft, sweet, and rising up with power; for this freshness, for this reminder that we must form the world to nurture children; for cradling a true gift, I give my deepest thanks. 

Audrey’s music is growing us all.  She raises us up  . . . . to our Creator.  That is Audrey’s theme.

Audrey Claire

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