Holly and I always go to war over baby names.
Thus, when she was unexpectedly expecting for the fifth time the name war began once more! I would fire a volley of favorites, which she would shoot down with her anti-aircraft artillery. Then she would cross enemy lines, dropping name bombs all over the place.
The whole process was brutal.
But wouldn’t you know it that our final engagement in the baby name war would end with peace… quite literally peace…
Solomon means peace.
The name itself is a variation of the Hebrew word Shalom. Even many non-religious people will recognize that word as the standard Hebrew greeting, but it is much more than a mere “hello” or “see you later.” The words itself expresses a deep-seated hope… a hope for peace.
Shalom is the way the world should be… in perfect peace under the perfect rule of God. Shalom is what Jesus taught us to pray for with the words “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Shalom is what Christ has achieved through his cross, and it is what he will bring to full consummation when he comes again.
Shalom… Solomon… Peace.
At 8pm on July the 20th, I stepped into an experience of Shalom unlike any other. Yes, I have been present for the birth of Charis, Levi, Talitha, and Asher, but this fifth-time things were different. Our doctor very graciously offered to let me be as involved with Solomon’s entry into the world as I wanted to be…
At 8pm I stepped away from my typical place during delivery, my wife’s side, and I made my way to the end of the bed. I found myself in a position I never dreamed I would be in… a position I never would’ve imagined I could handle… a position for which nothing could have prepared me.
The next seven minutes seemed to move so slowly, but at 8:07pm, I laid my hands on Solomon’s head… and amidst my wife’s pain, I stepped into a place of transcendent peace. I’m told that I was laughing uncontrollably as Holly pushed and I pulled Solomon into the world.
I was aware of nothing, but the moment.
I wasn’t even aware of what I was feeling. I was just feeling. Pure and perfect joy, awe, wonder, glory… pure and perfect peace.
Shalom… Solomon… Peace.
Through pain, came peace. What a glimpse of glory. What a glimpse of the Gospel of peace. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, and a virgin pushed peace into the world. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son to be crucified that through pain, peace would bleed into the world. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that he might rise, perfectly purchasing peace for the world. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be the prince of peace.
I stood there holding Solomon… feeling Shalom… and I gave him to Holly… to his momma. I handed her the peace that proved her pain was at an end… now she could know joy in him.
I will treasure this moment for the rest of my life, but even more, I treasure the coming moment to which it points me… the moment when my heavenly Father will bring all my pain to a conclusion… and I will possess the person who proves my pain is at an end… Jesus! I will be his and he will be mine to know and enjoy for the rest of forever.
O’ I pray that every time I even hear Solomon’s name, that it causes me to look forward to that coming day… the day of full and final shalom… the day of full and final peace…
…for Solomon means peace!