Something happens when you become a mama at forty one years.
When your life’s work has been focused out there, and taking the right next steps; about proving yourself in an arena where we hang our achievements on the walls and add letters to the ends of our name. When your field is built on searching, digging deep, posting findings, projecting results; when you are trained to always look for the emerging voice, to be abreast on the newest way and the ancient equivalent, it can be difficult to lose sight of here and now.
When all your energy is invested in preparing ministers you can forget to minister to yourself, to serve and honor those with whom you share a
home, to be awake in the day to day four walls of where you live. When you travel across the world to discover the wonders of by gone civilizations to study ruins and find magic in the storied stones and timeless dust you can miss the miracles in your own zip code the mercies that break fresh and new with each morning’s first light.
So when a little healer comes your way, wrapped in soft pink flesh, cradled in heaven’s scent, stars dancing in his eyes you stop-- and the rest of the planet goes silent --as you wait to learn what his tiny fingers and curled angel toes have to teach you in this world.
That is exactly how it happened for me almost a year ago now when an unexpected phone call on a Sunday afternoon changed our lives forever. We’d had life changing calls before to be sure, so many times before when the voice on the other end broke news that shattered the world; when the ground we stood on erupted and gushed forth in fire and white hot pain leaving behind only ash and embers that were all but snuffed out by the dark cold reality that is death.
But this time, it was different.
The voice on the other end heralding the news that in the space of a few seconds you have become a mother, and your husband a father, and your baby boy not twenty four hours old is waiting to greet you. You pack a bag in disbelief like so many times before only for this trip, your face hurts from smiling and instead of choosing a funeral dress, you consider curling your hair so your son meets you at your best that first shining moment.
And then they wheel the gift in, these nurses who have kept watch, held and loved this little guy so he was loved right from the start, they laugh and they cry as you take him in your arms for the first time and there is nothing but joy and new and miracle and wonder. You blink back tears because somewhere down deep, though this dream has long since been placed on a shelf in the far recesses of your heart, you always knew he would come to you this way and here you now are.
You hold him the night through because he sleeps sounder on your chest than in the hospital crib and already you fit together skin to skin, heart to heart and he is yours and you are his.And suddenly the words of your prayer rings again in your ears like a lullaby soft and true, “I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.”
You remember the promise, reading it that night in the dark hospital room while the machines beeped and you watched her breathe in and out and knew the letting go had already begun, you turned the page of her well worn bible and read, “The Lord will again fill your mouth with joy and your lips with shouts of laughter” Job 8.21.
And on this night, in the hospital reclining on the most uncomfortable bed, holding your baby boy you know the promise has come to pass; you know as you hold your son and he breathes in life and light and love that the Lord your God has restored what the locusts have eaten and `you will ever so slightly begin to heal
And just like that, as if the stitches have been removed, the ones holding your shattered heart in one piece, reveal the fresh shiny rose colored skin of scars you now bear that sing the song of triumph and all things new. You know this child of wonder has come to invite you back into your one life, beautiful and terrifying as it is, it is yours, and this is now and you are loved and you are known and you are held.