Baby girl in a string bag, born in a tiny hut made of sticks and leaves whose floor is more fire pit than anything. Your first breath filled with smoke. Your first sight a haze. You tug at my heartstrings with your too tiny fists.
I sit holding you, smiling at your newness. Chatting with your mother while in the back of my mind I wonder if the spot I am sitting in was just covered in blood. Beads of sweat poor down my face because the fire is so big and the flames so close that I wonder if my eyebrows are still there. I want to hold you longer, but I don't know if I can stand one more minute in this place where you came into the world. This place where you will stay for the first weeks of your life and then move to place exactly the same only slightly bigger. Smoke is now filling my lungs and I am having a hard time breathing. I wonder at how you sleep so peacefully.
I ask your name, but your mother does not have one for you yet. She doesn't know if you are strong…if you will make it, so she hasn't thought to call you anything yet. She doesn't know if you are anything yet. If you will just be an "it" that caused her a lot of physical pain and labor only to end up in a tiny hole in the ground.
Baby girl I pray over your life with the bittersweet realization that it will be a very difficult one no matter what. You will work hard and have few choices. You will probably never know a full night's sleep. You will probably never know complete health. It will be a life with very little comfort, very little pleasure, and probably very little love. I pray that you find Unfailing Love in spite of all of this.
I know that in twenty years when the rest of the world has holographic ipads and drones to bring them their morning coffee - you will probably be right back here, or in a tiny hut just like this, giving birth to your own baby. Your world, exactly the same as your mother's. I only dare to hope that your world will not contain the fear that someone will someday pronounce over you that dreaded name that will mark you for death- pisai- witch.
And though your world will be the same, I pray your heart is different. I pray that you know hope, peace, joy, faith, and love. I pray that you know Jesus, so that one day your world will be perfect.