Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Baby Is Here

 Our second daughter is pregnant, awaiting her first born son in a matter now of just a few more weeks.  She and her husband have prepared for his imminent birth by clearing out their little back bedroom.  Our son-in-law’s desk was squeezed into another room, and the day bed was disassembled and stored in the attic.  Our daughter has replaced that furniture with a crib, tiny clothes nestled in a repainted dresser from Craig’s List, and a padded rocker in the corner. 

On most accounts, she is ready for his coming.   But she has NO idea of how this little one will totally rearrange her life.  Our daughter is a doctor, and hence, she has delivered dozens of babies, everywhere from urban medical centers to a small hospital on the edge of a jungle in Ecuador.  The mechanics of the birthing experience are not unknown to her.  But the mysteries of becoming a mom have yet to emerge. 

Thirty years ago, there was no one more unprepared than me.   I was clueless.  When our first daughter was born, I had no idea what I was getting into, or of the love that radically deepened with the birth of each of our four daughters.  A few weeks before our oldest was born, I passed by the church nursery, terrified by the sound of the crying babies I heard.  But my relationship with my own baby changed everything.  I was the same me, but my heart underwent tectonic shifts as I began to see myself and others from a different perspective.  I am different because she came.   As each of our girls was born and grew up, and as each of our grandchildren come into this world, it is the relationships that continue to transform who I am and who I was meant to be.  And as deeply as I am attached in these relationships, I understand a little more about what it means to be loved by God. 

And so, in this advent of our daughter’s, I think about the advent we just celebrated in the month of December, the coming of Christ, who came as a little baby to save the world.  It is our relationship with Him that changes everything.  I thought about that the morning after Christmas.   Nothing is the same because He came.  I am not the same because He came.   My life is changed, not because of my doings, but by His relationship with me.

...for God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
that God sent His only Son into the world,
so that
        we might live through Him.
                          1 John 4.9

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