I gave birth to my daughter at home. Not by accident, but on purpose. I regarded birth as a natural event, not a medical one. I wanted it to be a sacred family moment, not a medical event – the welcoming of a new human being into the world.
Probably one of the most meaningful moments I’ve ever had with another person was after she had been birthed, bathed, welcomed into the world, and everyone else was tired and found a spot to grab a few hours of sleep before the sun rose.
I was wide awake. Giving birth has a way of doing that to a person.
I lay wide awake in bed and watched my daughter lying next to me (yes, I know the experts now say not to do that). I tried to comprehend the changes she had just been through, going from inside my cramped but warm and fluid-filled womb to the completely opposite and wholly unfamiliar world outside of the womb: dry, and relatively cool. Her lungs – which had never experienced air before – were now the lifeline that brought oxygen to her blood. I wondered how air and blankets felt on her skin, which only a few hours earlier had never touched anything other than body-temperature amniotic fluid.
I also thought about the miraculous changes that had just occurred in my relationship to her. She had grown in my womb from a miraculous merging of a part of her Dad and a part of her Mom, into a now wholly new and separate human being. I experienced every moment of that transformation inside my body. The transition from being “me” to being “us” was a gradual one. There was no single point when she became “not-me” – not even when she emerged and took her first breath of air. It was all a continuum.
I laid there in silence for hours watching this person who’d been growing inside my body, letting the enormity of the miracle of life wash wordlessly over me, and eventually watching the sun rise.
This is the kind of “being with” God that I seek in silent prayer. Turning off the mind’s endless self-chatter, and even the word-ful prayers I often pray to God … just “being” with Him … experiencing the awe of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me and I in Him, the continuity between myself and Jesus and all others who are a part of the Body of Christ, the continuum on which there is no bright line separating “me” from “us” from “them” or from “Him”…
I don’t often experience that. I often can’t clear the words from my mind that separate myself from Jesus. But when I can it is an awesome way of “being”-“with” God.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.John 1:1-4