Pop Quiz

by MW Cook

What weighs 3.4kg, takes forty weeks to prepare and now dominates the life of a Paki-Canadian family?

Asha Sehr Cook.

Mubarak ho! Ruth went into labour around noon, our time. Asha arrived an hour and a half later.

Asha is an ancient name with origins in Sanskrit. Today it has evolved from its one source into a handful of languages with distinct meanings. In Hindi it means hope. In Arabic it means life or lively. This name reminds us that though two groups of people be ever so far apart, like Hindus and Muslims, there is One Name in which the two people can become one with hope and life. That name is Christ. Asha points to him. And in Christ there is a Hopeful Life and a Lively Hope.

Sehr is the Arabic word for the early morning right before the sun rises, while there is still darkness. It is also the first prayer of the day. It reminds us that even when there is darkness over the land there is a glimmer of light on the horizon that brings with it hope and life. This name is especially precious when we think of the struggles we have been going through while Ruth was carrying Asha. Through it all, when it seemed like we were in the dark night, we could still hold onto a confidence that Dayspring is coming. It also reminds us that we are in the Sehr of this world. That is, though many things in the world seem dark and evil we know that the True Morning is coming, and when he does the light and hope and life will be so great that we almost forget the darkness.

More will come later, but for now I need to get off the computer and by my wife’s side. Here’s a picture of my beautiful, dear daughter: