My Biological Creation?

QuiverA few days ago, on Jacob Two-Two (that’s right: today’s post draws from the very center of the Western canon), Jacob’s father referred to him as “my biological creation.”

 What a strange way of thinking about a child, especially from a father.  Whenever I have created something with my hands – a poem, say, or a bookshelf – there has been a defined process that I can describe, in which I can clearly point to the actions that I took to reach the final product.  I am working with pre-existing materials (the subjects of the poem, the wood for the bookshelf), but there is “sweat equity” that I contribute. 

In comparison, my contribution to “creating” a child seems trivial.

The Bible depicts children as a gift from God, and that holds true with my experience.  When my wife give birth to our first daughter, I felt like I was experiencing a miracle: a new person came into being.  I could never have done that myself.  I hope that I’m not stretching the exegesis too far by applying this psalm to my two daughters:

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
       its builders labor in vain.
       Unless the LORD watches over the city,
       the watchmen stand guard in vain.

    2 In vain you rise early
       and stay up late,
       toiling for food to eat—
       for he grants sleep to those he loves.

    3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
       children a reward from him.

    4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
       are sons born in one’s youth.

    5 Blessed is the man
       whose quiver is full of them.
       They will not be put to shame
       when they contend with their enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127)

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