David and Lindsay live in Tallahassee, Florida. My wife and I drove up there on Friday as Lindsay was in labor. She delivered Talitha at 9:05 p.m.
Many people have asked about the name "Talitha." David and Lindsay pronounce it with the accent on the first syllable (TAL - i - tha). The name is found in the Bible in Mark 5. In that chapter, Jairus, a synagogue ruler, comes to Jesus and pleads for him to heal his 12-year old daughter who is dying. While Jesus is on his way to Jairus' house, he stops to heal a woman who has had an issue of blood for many years. Meanwhile, Jairus' daughter dies. Nevertheless, Jesus goes to her and raises her from the dead. In Mark 5:41-42, we read:
"He took her by the hand and said to her, 'Talitha koum!' (which means, 'Little girl, I say to you, get up!'). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around."So whether "Talitha" was the actual name of Jairus' daughter or not, it means "little girl" in Aramaic. Whenever I think of Talitha I think of Jesus giving his love, power, and life to one who is lost, empty, and without hope. In other words, the gospel is bound up in that one word "Talitha."
It was such a moving experience holding Talitha in my arms. For one thing, this is the first child of my first son. Just watching David and his wife go through this enormously life-changing event gives me chill bumps. But added to that is the memory of my own first childbirth experience, and knowing that now David and Lindsay get to have that. The whole thing is solemn, joyous, sacramental. Each day with your first baby is a brand new discovery, at once exhausting and exhilarating.
All my other children were there this weekend for the big event: Rebecca with her 3 kids, Jennifer (pregnant, due in March), and Michael.
I am a very blessed man indeed. To live to see my children's children is a rare privilege. To know that my children are walking with God and rearing their kids to do the same is even rarer.