A Word About Blessed Events
October 19, 2020
by Ken Jones
Because October is Down Syndrome Month …
A Word About Blessed Events
Everyone knows that phrase: A Blessed Event.
A blessed event is what happens when a baby is born.
A blessed event occurs when that familiar sound splits the air,
And a neonate cries for the very first time,
And an heir is born who can help carry on the family name and lineage.
Well, I know of a young mother who has experienced more than a few blessed events in her life.
A nurse, by profession, and a mother besides.
She has, in fact, nursed a number of people, including children of her own.
She knows what it means to actually birth a blessed event.
One such event was so particularly blessed that she gave that blessed event a name;
A joyful and lyric name befitting the occasion:
And the name of that blessed event was … Jubal.
God’s Book says in Genesis 4 that the first Jubal ever born,
Grew up to be the “…father of all those who play the lyre and pipe” (Genesis 4:21, ESV).
Musicians, then, have the first Jubal to thank for their genes.
The lyric of their song is evidence that a blessed event named Jubal
Came into the world.
But what of this “other” Jubal of which I now speak?
What gift or talent or gene separates him from every other soul on this earth?
Well, he is for a certainty, one of a kind, and custom-made in heaven.
Unique in every way; gifted and hand-formed in his mother’s womb.
And known by God, since “In the beginning ….”
And among all the wonderous mysteries that make Jubal such a dear and blessed event?
A hidden and defining reality.
Jubal is a truly special child;
He possesses an extra chromosome twenty-one.
For, Jubal was born with Down syndrome.
His mother has a deep and abiding faith,
She has already noticed that her precious Jubal is a teacher;
On a daily basis, he teaches her not to take anything for granted.
In fact, his tutelage has taught his mamma to hold expectations loosely,
To mark every new accomplishment and achievement in his life,
As occasion for unbridled joy and raucous celebration.
For months, now, she has been working with him on his name.
Her great desire: That he be able to know and to say his name, when asked.
Their classroom exchange often resembles some intense game of charades.
She points to his chest, and asks him the pop-quiz question of the moment:
“What’s your name?” she says, smilingly.
And he returns her smile, with a smile of his own.
But he doesn’t answer the only question on his test for the day.
She repeats the question, then. Not once, or twice.
Perhaps three or four times, she asks: “What’s your name?” as she points to his chest.
And Jubal’s only response to her inquiry is an impish, emoji-like smile,
As if he were playing hide-and-seek,
As if he was being asked for the combination to some padlock,
Or some riddle that he understood, but wasn’t particularly interested in answering.
The second part of the lesson of the day, then, takes place in front of a mirror.
Jubal’s mamma points at herself in the mirror and identifies herself:
“My name is ‘Mama,’” she says.
Then, she points at him in the mirror and asks,
In all the times that Jubal’s mother has inquired of him, “What’s your name?”
He has never responded with, “Jubal.”
His only answer is that smile, and that … silence.
Nearly every day, and many times a day,
This learning lab has repeated itself;
Jubal’s mother trying to teach him the name of the blessed event in the mirror,
And her son teaching her that unbridled joy and raucous celebrations
Sometimes take their time becoming reality.
Well, tonight, out of sheer habit, and what could only be described as nonchalance,
Another pop quiz at the dinner table.
Out of the blue.
Without a mirror in the room.
As she pointed at his chest, and smiled into his face,
Jubal’s momma asked that question, again.
“What’s your name?”
And Jubal responded with that familiar smile.
But then, wait.
What was that?
A blessed event was about to clear its throat;
And another a blessed event was about to occur.
Jubal decided he would be heard.
He had a word to say on this occasion.
And the word?
“Jubal,” said the voice.
One word that caused unbridled joy to make a place for itself at the dinner table.
Raucous celebration pulled up a chair.
For the very first time in her life, Jubal’s momma heard his name spoken,
Not by her, but by … him! By that man-child.
He said it.
That incessant smile finally spoke up; granted, it was only one word.
But such an important word, marking an incredibly blessed event.
She knows, only too well, that it may be a long time before Jubal utters his name again.
In fact, deep in the recesses of his being, he may decide that once- and- for-all was enough.
When a body knows their own identity, and who they really are?
Once they’ve seen themselves in a mirror,
Looked into their own image, and face and soul?
The wise man would do well to remember, and never forget what he has seen.
Let it be known, then: A blessed event has occurred,
For, Jubal has said his name;
Jubal knows who he is.
And God has known who he is, as well.
God has known about that blessed event named Jubal since long before there was any blessed event, indeed.
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.”
—Psalm 139:1-4, NASB