We are having a baby in June. It is a most unexpected turn of events. I am a planner. I like to look ahead and take care of things. I also generate lots of scenarios in my head to worry about. Babies are a target rich environment for ever sort of worry. The uncertainty of life is so much more obviously uncertain, it seems, when you think about babies. There are so many possible problems to deal with. The tests provide relief as you learn what horrible diseases you probably will not have. Having already dealt with spina bifida we are relieved that the spine looks great. The doctor told us that the norm is healthy babies, but I have faced the "un-norm" and know it is possible to face it again. Worries, I have been told, are a "prayer of unbelief." I think there is some truth to that. I try not to worry.
Today as I drove to work I heard there was a car wreck near my brother and sister's neighborhood. I had a stab of worry so I said a prayer for their safety. I then prayed for my two kids to be safe. Funny how we just assume each day is going to be fine. I realized how much I take for granted. Even a worry-wart like me, it seems, assumes that every day will be okay. I guess I have some faith after all!
There are such finite limits to our life. There is so much we cannot see. My wife's little belly hides the most amazing little boy. We cannot see him now, but we know he is there. Sometimes we can feel movement. But we cannot hear him or see him (without technology). In the doctors office we saw his reflection on a screen. It was blurred. At time only a small part of him was recognizable. Ironically we even saw his heart, his brain and other organs. Things hidden within him as he lays hidden within the womb! But we could for brief moments make him out. I saw a foot. I saw a hand. A couple times, briefly, I saw his face. The face! It was like he was looking right at us. It felt that way. Even though he cannot see us at all. For a moment, gazing at teh screen, if felt like we were looking right at each other. I assume (I hope, I pray) some day I will hold him in my hands and look into his face. I hope that he and I will come to see, face to face, and to love each other, face to face. Having done that twice already I know it is a most remarkable thing.
A baby does not have to be planned to be wanted. I want this little guy to grow and prosper. I want him to be so much more than I am. I want him to be holy in ways I have only imagined. I hope he will be wise and patient and kind. I pray he will love God with all he is and love his neighbor as himself. My two teen-agers are far enough along that I can see an outline of what is possible. They are children of faith. They are smart, beautiful, and good kids. Next summer, we will add a third child to the group. I have done many important things in my life. There is nothing more important to me than being a dad.
Unknown future. What will happen? Once again we enter mytery. I trust there is a God who is here with us. Like this baby, right now I cannot see God. I cannot hear God. I catch glimpses of God. Glimpses which are distorted and incomplete. My own imagination supplies details which are inaccurate. Like this baby, some day I will see Him face to face. Like this baby, the actual encounter will be far superior to the blurry photo on an ultrasound screen. Until that face to face moment, I wait. I prepare. I do the things necessary to get ready for the day. I long to see the baby. I long to see God. The hunger is love. Love is the goal and final destination. I hope. I pray. I wait, anxiously.
The baby is a sacrament, for me, of God. Pregnancy and waiting are, for me, a sacrament of the Kingdom. I cannot argue it philosophically (okay probably I would!) but I can glimpse it. Little bits and pieces. My prayer is this blog provides others a glimpse. A reason to hope. A reason to sing and dance and love. A reason to pray and to serve.