Hello Ivan; The God Who Remembers Your Cry and Sees Your Heart

Oliver closes his eyes and folds his hands like he is praying,

"I wish for a baby brother," 

Then he tosses the coin into the fountain.

A month later he sits on my bed. I pull out the ultra-sound pictures. 

"Guess what?"

"What?" Oliver says to me.

"The doctor thinks the baby is a boy."

"YES! A bro! He thinks it's going to be a boy"

Then I show him the pictures, and laugh to myself wondering where he has heard the term bro lately. I figure it out later that week; The Wild Krat Brothers on PBS

June 19th the doctor confirms the news. It's definitely a boy.

We already have a name picked out. Ivan Scott. Ivan after Jeff's granddad. Scott, which is Jeff's middle name.

That night I look to find more information about the first Ivan Hirshburg on the internet. I knew he was awarded several medals for his service to our country, but I wanted to find out more of the details.

Jeff told me some of Ivan's story before, and it seemed pretty intense. I also knew from pictures that he had reconstructive surgery on his face after being injured in the war. He never looked the same, but he was alive and survived. 

Tears were running down my cheeks a few minutes after reading the article about Ivan. I came across something I had not expected. Besides it being late, and me being pregnant and therefore extra emotional, this something I came upon seemed a significant detail.

"On 10 December 1943, Captain Ivan E. Hirshburg participated in a mission to provide supplies to isolated Allied troops in Burma. Upon reaching the target, his aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters and he was severely wounded in the right shoulder and left thigh. Despite his wounds, Captain Hirshburg continued flying the aircraft and made every effort to evade the attackers who were closing in. Rather than expose the crew to further attacks, he elected to make a crash landing in the mountainous jungles. In the crash landing, he received critical face and head injuries, however, he ordered that first aid be given to the rest of the injured crew. His actions on that date saved the lives of six of his crew members. For his heroic actions, Ivan Hirshburg was award the Distinguished Flying Cross.  In addition to the above awards, he was awarded two more Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Air Medals with Valor for his heroic service."

On December 10th ....

I read it over again. 

That is my baby's due date; our son who we chose to name Ivan after his Great Granddad. The name chosen before I knew this fact about the attack and the mission being on the due date. And though our son most likely won't be born on the exact date the doctor has predicted, this detail is sacred to me now. 

Sometimes we experience trauma and pain so significant there are no words for it. I can't imagine how that day, Dec. 10th 1943 may have effected Ivan throughout his life. 

But we have a God who sees us and remembers us, even years later. A God who can bring redemption and love and gentleness to what may seem a severe story. 

A few days later, on June 21st, while reading my Bible, using the Sacred Ordinary Days Bible Reading Plan; I come across two scriptures that make me think of Ivan. 

Psalms 9:12 He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.


1 Samuel 16:7 Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 

For someone who never quite looked the same after reconstructive surgery this is a verse that might have brought Ivan comfort and also strengthened his heart. 

We serve a good God, one that not only remembers us and our cries, but also sees and understands the depth of our heart. 


The meaning of Ivan; God is gracious.