Birth is something truly unique in this life. It’s amazing how it draws people in. For about the last 2 weeks, every time I venture out in public, everyone has something to say to me about how hugely pregnant I am. “How much longer?” is the most common quip. Well, my due date is January 23rd, but I already seem to have entered the “My goodness, how can you STILL be pregnant?” stage. Jokes aside, there are a few experiences in this life that are always visceral, always powerful, undeniably REAL, and birth is one of those. Most people who talk to me don’t know me, but suddenly they see and acknowledge that they are in community with someone carrying a new life, and that the emergence of that life matters to them. What is it about birth that strikes everyone, even those otherwise unconnected to my life, people who would never give me a second glance, much less stop me outside the grocery store to offer their kindest wishes for health? I think Dusty hit it on the head on Sunday when he mentioned the “God space”- that place beyond our resources and understanding and creativity. Seeing a newborn baby is one of those gifts from God- experiences that reminds us of our interconnectedness, and the powerful intrinsic value of life itself, and the goodness of all the possibility in the world. It seems we cannot help but be filled with wonder.
In studying wonder these past few weeks, we have been coming back across another word a lot: cynicism. Here are some of its fun synonyms: distrust, skepticism, doubt, suspicion, disbelief, sarcasm, bitterness. Now birth is certainly something that logically we could be cynical about- a totally vulnerable being entering a world full of pain, disease and suffering. But in the God space, illogical things happen, and instead we get a moment of wonder, eyes opened, seeing a reflection of those heavenly truths that cynicism so often hides from us. “We come alive to the invisible.”
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are you works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.