Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Preparing the Way

I didn't intend for this Advent season to be one of silence on my blog, but I just haven't felt like writing. We have been so busy around here, in a good way, preparing for Christmas and for the new baby. Whenever I have had time to write, I have chosen something else instead...reading to myself or my boys or taking a nap. But I have been thinking. Here are some of my scattered thoughts.

Being this close to delivering a baby at Christmas brings an entirely new perspective to Advent. The hymns and scriptures we are using at church often have multiple meanings for me now as I sit uncomfortably in a folding chair feeling a baby push into my ribcage and wanting oh-so-badly for him to come already! In some strange way, it heightens my awareness of what it means to wait in the brokenness of this world for God's Kingdom to be fully ushered in, for all pain and tears and misery and weariness to end. As I say, "Come, quickly, Jesus!" my body is saying, "Come, quickly, baby!"

I have been thinking about Mary and how tiresome and difficult that journey to Bethlehem must have been. I can barely handle riding in a car on paved roads these days, and she was on a donkey on rough terrain.

3 A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Maybe when God issued this prophecy He was also making a literal command: "Someone get those roads smooth for that poor pregnant woman carrying the Messiah!" These are the crazy thoughts that go through my head at church.

Prepare Ye The Way
As I fold baby clothes and wash diapers and clean the house, I occasionally have the presence of mind to also prepare my heart for the coming of Jesus and for the celebration of His birth. I am not super-spiritual, and part of me wishes I had seized this chance for meditation and spiritual preparation more fully. Still, I am busy in the daily and seasonal tasks of cleaning and decorating and nurturing and resting. I suppose most woman throughout history didn't have time to meditate on the spiritual significance of these things, either. They were too busy just doing them.

Even so, the slow ordering of our home, the daily rhythms of our Advent traditions, and the gradual emergence of Christmas decor are preparing our home and our family for His coming. In the same way, whether I meditate on it or not, my body is doing the work of making a baby. With every stray contraction and sore muscle, my body is preparing the way for his coming, hopefully soon.

Now, if only we could decide on a name...


Em the luddite said...

I don't see what there is to decide. Clearly, his name should be Moe. Calvin, Hobbes and Moe. What else would you name him, Spiff?

Catherine said...

Wow...you and I have had identical journeys, or at least very similar ones...even through labor it sounds like....