Behind The Art - Father:
When showing my work in public, there was a question I used to get asked quite a bit. It struck me as straightforward, often to the point of bluntness, and generally came at the outset of the conversation. “Have you been born again?” I would usually pause a moment, wanting my answer to be not routine, but deliberate and suitably thoughtful. “Well, yes” I would sometimes say, and let it go at that. But at other times I wouldn’t stop there. If as prominent a religious scholar as Nicodemus could puzzle over such a question for several lines in John’s Gospel – with Jesus himself right there offering enlightenment – then too quick or glib an assent on my part might seem a little out of place. So, giving myself room to explore different possibilities of meaning, I would say to my newfound acquaintance “In fact, when my child was born, the man I had been until that very moment died, figuratively speaking, and was reborn.” In a way, it was a dual birth. Until that moment I had lived for myself primarily and – in all honesty – for others when I felt like it. Suddenly, everything had changed. This little person would not survive unless my wife and I cared for him and loved him.
“I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”, we read in Ezekiel. And in Matthew, Jesus tells us “I came not to be served, but to serve”. That could be one of the practical definitions of being born again. It’s certainly one of the definitions of being a dad.