The Birth of a Child & The Changing of a Fresh Name : A Living Tribute to Nelson Mandela

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“You are the light of the world.”  -Matthew 5:14


Jesus spoke these words in the infamous Sermon on the Mount.  Throughout my life, these words have signified what I have tried so hard to be…light.  I have constantly sought light.


Early this morning, I jumped into a birthing pool in our living room to hold my wife Emily as she labored to give birth to our third child.  In the midst of the pushing and throes of labor, Emily pulled a baby out of the water.  I took one look at him and thought, “You are the light of the world.”  We call the light Quienly.


This afternoon, Quienly experienced problems keeping a high heartbeat and we were forced to transport the light to the hospital.  As I worried about my child, I was watching over our twin sons when I heard on the news that the great light of peace and love Nelson Mandela had died.  I mourn.


I mourn Mandela because he had the courage to move from violence and vengeance to the belief that forgiveness and love are the only real way to peace and justice.  Mandela demanded an end to identity-based domination and called for all people to be respected as individuals.  In pushing for a Rainbow Nation, Mandela asked a people to forgive the unforgiveable acts that had taken place during Apartheid.  In so doing, Mandela used forgiveness and love to guide us all toward peace and justice.  Nelson Mandela was and is the light of the world.


On December 5, 2013, Quienly is born and Mandela has died.


This evening, I arrived at the hospital to check on my wife and child.  My wife and I discussed our mutual love and admiration for Nelson Mandela.  We decided that this was an occasion that could not be missed.  We called and had the birth certificate changed.


Dillard Quienly Hood is now Quienly Mandela Dillard Hood.


May the young Quienly Mandela continue to be the light of the world just like his namesake.



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