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"I Hear My Child Among Them All"

“I heard the children, but I heard a one child among them all. That one who is a part of me. That one that has come from me, I heard him. I knew him. And I knew his voice. More than that, I knew his cry. Even when I am not listening for him, when he calls out, I know him.”

~An excerpt from a conversation with Evangelist Alicia Garth, my mother

My mother told me a story about me when I was about 4 years old at one of our many family gatherings. Our extended family would generally meet at my grandmother’s house. Easily anywhere up to 50 people between her children, nieces, and nephews and their partners and children. At these Louisiana shindigs, everything from men shouting and jesting loudly at the spades table to the women chattering and laughing heartily could be heard; throw in a baby crying and a few dog barks and welcome home.

What's more, no Black gathering is complete without music. With a list of greats spanning from the Motown oldies to hip hop Top 40, the Black family gathering is probably known for its music almost just as much as the potato salad. Music, most often at full volume, always underscored the day.

At this particular gathering, my parents had recently bought me a tricycle. My mother tells the story about how she remembers my long, little legs paddling up and down the driveway and sidewalk, a few of my cousins running and skipping around, weaving back and forth. As we shrieked and played in toddler fashion, one of my cousin’s crossed my trike path and inadvertently stopped the front wheel, which brought the tricycle to a hard stop catapulting me on the sidewalk face down.

My mother said she remembers perching her ear amongst the music, the slamming of dominos, banter and laughter.

“What’s wrong,” one of my aunts asked.

“I hear Gerald Jr.”

“Relax, girl. Them children enjoying themselves.”

“Hold on, girl. I hear my baby,” and she darted toward the front of the house, where she saw me ejected from the tricycle, crying over my skinned knees in the grass.

She swept me up and nursed my wounds and my distress—rubbing an ice cube on each knee and applying one of the world’s best-proven medicines, Mama’s kiss, on each kneecap. After just a small bit of comforting, she sent me off, excitedly barreling back to the yard with my cousins.

When my mother told me that story, I heard God. With all that’s happening in the world, how closely attuned are we to “hearing our baby?”-- that thing that God gave us, unique to us-- our gift, our calling. Our “baby” symbolizes the spirit and manifestation of creativity-- the thing that is so mindfully crafted by God for you. What’s more is that with a healthy baby comes healthy mothering. Not necessarily a mother through birth or even by solely a female, but the mothering spirit; that is, being committed to nurturing your baby to be its best. When it comes to your baby—your creation-- no one else can give it what it needs the way you can; no one can hear and respond the way you can.

During these times, we’re the stillest we’ve ever been, but we are the most inundated. Clamor and distractions have become ways of life with so many things aiming for our attention, efforts, and our responses.

But like my own mother, are we attuned to hear atop the noise, even when those closest to us are not hearing or being guided the way we are?

We have a special connection to the gifts, vision, and crafts God has given us. Many of us have received promises and confirmation over the years about manifestation and abundance connected to “our baby.” Because of that, we have the responsibility to hear and heed to the needs of our own creation. And just how Mama was able to kiss those knees and send a smiling Junior back out, we too have to tap into our special gift to heal, grow, and protect our babies and have the faith and commitment to send our baby back out to be great.

During this time, I encourage us to lean our ear toward our baby calling us. Ask ourselves do we recognize its voice? Can we give it what it needs to heal and grow it? Are we even prepared to?

Listen for your baby, because no one can give it what it needs like you.

Happy Mother's Day!

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