E is for Elijah (Counting My Blessings 5/26)

I can’t imagine not knowing Elijah Gray Cosand.

He is a gift into my life from an infinitely loving Creator who knew that I needed someone to confound me with a brilliant balance of life and joy and eccentricity.


It’s a pretty perfect word for this kid. His sense of humor, his sense of style, the way he moves, the sounds he makes…all a delightfully quirky blend of cool and creative and off-kilter wonderful. It would be hard to pigeonhole Elijah with just one variety of descriptors. He’s too hard to pin down and, honestly, it’s one of the things I love about him.

The name Elijah means “Yahweh is my God”. Before he was born, his mother and I tossed around several different name possibilities. Some seemed too obscure while others seemed too common. I remember sitting at the dining room table with one of my wife’s friends as she wrote out potential combinations of first and middle names. Somewhere along the way, Elijah Gray Cosand was scribed and considered and approved. It fits him well with a nice balance of propriety and panache.

Elijah has a gift for being hilarious and creative. He will say funny things, sometimes, that come from so far out of left field that it’s nearly impossible to trace the cognitive path that allowed them to spring from his mind. Just when I might begin to generalize Eli as a comedian, however, he will impress me with his depth of thought. We recently had a very intense and focused conversation regarding some issues our family is journeying through, and I really believe that God spoke peace to me through the observations that Elijah expressed.

A couple of weeks ago, Eli provided a marvelous example of the divergent facets of his personality. On a Saturday, he made a video of his improvised dance to the song I’m Sexy and I Know It:

The next day, he sang a lovely solo in Give Me Jesus with his grandmother’s choir:

Both videos capture unique and wonderful parts of his personality and demonstrate that tension between secular and sacred that we all walk within. Elijah, more than any of my children, reflects that tense diversity. He is two-legged joy dancing and spinning around and forehead-furrowed frustration simmering on the sidelines. He is exuberant yalps of creative satisfaction mashed up with growls and grunts of dissatisfaction at things that aren’t going his way.

Elijah reminds me of the heart of God, beating with love and patience for His children who both revel in and reject Him on a daily basis. He is flesh and blood evidence of God’s creativity and compassion and I am so proud of my sweet little boy.


Dear Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that you entrusted Elijah to me. I ask that you would continue to shape me into the Daddy that he needs. A daddy who can both celebrate the wonder and patiently weather the storms. You have given Eli so many gifts and such a rich spirit, and I am grateful to know him. Help me to model peace and gentleness for him so that he will grow up seeing a reflection of Your perfect love for him in the way that I love him. Create in Elijah a deep hunger for You that will guide and preserve and protect him throughout his life. I pray that You will use the gifts You’ve given him for Your glory. At the same time, I am very glad that I get to watch those gifts emerge and expand in delightful, surprising, complex, and quirky ways.


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