Jul 282013
 

I’ve got babies on the brain this week.

I got the chance to help lead worship today, and helped participate in the baptism of twin girls; and, one of the families in our congregation welcomed a new baby into the world on Wednesday. ┬áThese two celebrations were held in sight along with the story my friend Ann recently told on our church’s website, about the very brief life of her daughter, who was found at birth to have a syndrome that was “incompatible with life.”

Below is the prayer I wrote for the Prayers of the People this week. Feeling grateful for families – however they are defined.
 
God, our mother and father,
wellspring of the life-giving nutrients of love and encouragement,
 
We thank you for our families –
whether defined by blood, by choice, or by the waters of baptism.
 
We pray for families that are growing in our midst –
    for J, M, and A, as they welcome baby A into the world;
    for this congregation, as we officially welcome J and J into the church family;
    for babies growing in bellies, whom we cannot wait to meet.
 
We pray for the children
    who remind us how we are called to be in the world,
    who love without regard for race, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, or ability;
We pray for those who will too often go to bed with an empty stomach,
    who will not know the comfort of an adult they can trust,
    who are taken from us far too soon.
 
We pray for parents who trudge through sleepless nights,
    feeding newborns, holding cold compresses against sick foreheads,
        offering comfort against nightmares;
    who worry with budgets and medical bills, bullying and safety,
        who have to find the strength to say goodbye to their children.
 
We pray for our human family, the church universal.
    Give us vision to see one another as you see us –
    illuminated by the light of your love
    and nourished by the flames of your Spirit.
 
Embolden us to be your people,
    faithful and courageous.
    As your beloved Son
    embraced his mission in the waters of baptism,
    inspire us with the fire of your Spirit
    to join in his transforming work.
    
We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ,
    who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
 

Jul 182013
 

So…here’s the thing. When I started writing a blog a couple of years ago, I made a pretty thing in my first post about not wanting my blog to be too personal, to turn into an online, public diary of sorts. It’s not that I have anything against blogs that function in such a way, it’s just that I didn’t want to make clattering bones function in that way. Besides that, I have a tendency to ramble (and ramble. . . and ramble), and I didn’t want to run into a situation where I’d write four paragraphs about mostly nothing. I mean, really – who wants to read four paragraphs of me rambling about nothing?

In the last few months, however, this resolve has been particularly difficult, and has resulted in. . . well, silence. It’s been a strange few months, and I’m only now starting to find a center in the midst of a lot of transition in my life. I recently likened my life to the experience of walking through a green smoothie: I know I’m surrounded by stuff that’s good and good for me; but, I can’t make sense of much of it. This makes it particularly difficult to try and write something coherent.

The thing is, my partner and I are expecting our first baby in November. (We had an ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and, based on what I can see, it kind of looks like Emperor Palpatine is growing in my partner’s belly.) I’ve spent the first few months in this sort of “holy smokes, we’re having a baby – is this for real?!” space which has in the last few weeks turned into an elated anticipation for the child we’re getting ready to meet.

ultra_sound

Part of my reticence to writing has been largely due to the fact that much of my mental energy lately has been spent trying to make sense of the life we are preparing for. It has in many ways become the touchstone for how I look at the world these days. Part of that. . . the part that has resulted in me painting our radiator covers and re-wiring electrical outlets. . . is due to an awareness that very soon we will have an infant in the world (who won’t know that the radiator cover is not something to be chewed on, and that chipped paint and crackers are different things). ┬áThe other part, however . . . the part that finds myself acutely frustrated with all of the tension going on in the world around race and gender, marriage and voting rights. . . is rooted in a desire to raise a child who knows that they are loved, and who is able to someday understand who they are in the world in a way that enables them to live with empathy and compassion. I want to be a good parent, and to model for my child the kind of behavior that might help to make the world a better place.

Having said that, I realize that writing is a good way for me to make sense of the world, and that parenting is definitely something I’m trying to make sense of. It’s nice to be back.