Blue Baby and Beer

Blue baby syndrome, while not common, can occur due to several congenital (meaning present at birth) heart defects or environmental or genetic factors. In lay terms of a past era such a child was said to be a blue baby. It was said to be caused by a hole in the heart.  It’s characterized by an overall skin color with a blue or purple tinge, called cyanosis. I was one. The doctors gave me six weeks to live. The condition was often the cause of death if the heart did not grow to close the hole.

For about the first five years of life I was so weak I could not play as a normal child. The hole miraculously closed and my physical activities increased. 

Later in life I learned that in praying my parents dedicated themselves to rearing me for use by the Lord if He desired.

I began to grow rapidly. At one point I had two fried eggs for breakfast with a plate of syrup with a large swirl of fresh cream. This was sopped with biscuits. The doctor said I needed iron. Supplements were unknown so he prescribed that I eat a pound of liver a day. Yuck! I did eat it, but to this day I no longer eat liver.

As a teen I answered God’s gracious call to the ministry. It wasn’t until after that my parents told me of their commitment to rear me for the Lord.

One dramatic event in my young life caused me to make a life long commitment. A relative of my grandparents lived in our big old house. He was a deputy sheriff, my hero. He had a reputation as being a good law officer who was hard on moonshiners. They cultivated him and enticed him to the point that one night they got him drunk out of his mind. They undressed him and during the night dumped his nude body and clothes on our lawn. His career was ended.

I thought if that stuff could do that to my hero I would never drink alcohol.

Fast forward. My first night on my college campus without knowing what I was doing I got in with the “in group” sitting in the student union. One of them suggested we walk up town. On our way they decided we needed to get beers. Naively I said, “I have never tasted a beer.” I didn’t that night.

Four years later I was a young pastor. After the service a lovely young girl introduced herself as being a member of that group and how I had said I had never tasted beer. Then she asked if I could still say that. I acknowledged I could. To this day I can still say I have never tasted alcohol in any form. 

We make decisions and then our decisions make us. We are free to choose our paths, but we can’t choose the consequences that come with them.

C.S. Lewis said, “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.”

Make decisions today that you will be pleased to live with the result tomorrow.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1: 12)