What She May Have Felt: Advent Reflections
My son, when you lay still in me, I start to doubt. I hold my belly and gently press against your body just to feel you move. I might startle when you kick hard against my ribs; I might gasp for air when you nuzzle deep into my body, but Iâ€™d rather you be moving than my doubt growing. My faith must be so small. For already, you are positioned with the universe under your feet and the world on your shoulders. Already, your arms and legs are strong for the rescuing work they will do. Please may I feel them again so that I know what He said is still true. Sometimes I feel like Moses – hearing Godâ€™s plan to free Israel, but stumbling upon the unknown: will I do well in my mothering? Will you really want to save us once you see us face to face? But just when I worry that I will never grow and stretch enough to bring you forth, I remember the prophecies: that you will grow beyond me and you will hold me, despite me.
My sisters think it unfair that I know so much about you – that I can prepare your clothes, practice your name, and make room for your work. We even know the hopes and dreams for your life, removing the temptation to concoct them myself. Yet, there is so much I do not know: your face… the circumstances of your birth…the time you will come… the way you will live. Yes, I am preparing for your arrival with great joy, but to me – even to me with my swollen belly and aching back and etched calendar – your birth will seem so sudden. Sometimes, all I can do is anticipate the great suddenness.
One day, Iâ€™ll still be waiting; the next day, Iâ€™ll see your face.
â€œFor the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober… putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do… Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.â€
1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 5: 11 & 24