One of the most profound experiences of recent days has been with my new born daughter at night. For the first two weeks of her life she would only sleep while held in someone’s arms. So for hours on end I would sit in our rocking chair, holding her in my arms, watching her sleep.
During that time I could not help but contemplate new life. It is amazing how something can come into our lives, and suddenly everything is different. Suddenly there is a new pattern, new responsibilities, new joys and new worries. And it is not all easy. There are late night diaper changes, or crying that won’t stop when I desperately need sleep. Life’s options have narrowed. A trip to Thailand or to hike in the Himalayas will now have to wait. Life has been re-arranged and in this there is loss, but it this re-arrangement there is something profoundly good.
In many ways that goodness is tied to the moment that Gabriella was born. There was a birth, there was a new relationship, but also in me there was a profound opening of my heart. I must admit that I don’t know what words I can use to describe it. Joy, happiness, worry, terror, – they are all nice words, but they don’t quite describe the sudden shift and opening of my heart that is really beyond words. Quite simply looking at my new born daughter, something at the very core of who I am shifted, and opened – life will never be the same.
In many ways I believe it is this experience that our faith is about as well. There are so many things wrapped up in our faith, beliefs, organizations, committees, rituals, acts. In many ways these are all just the surface of what our faith can mean in our life. At the heart of it though there is this movement in the very center of our being. It is a movement, when our heart is opened, when we become open to the sacred presence in our life; it is a moment when we become open to grace; it is a moment when we become instruments of love. They are moments when bit by bit our lives become open to God. It is in these moments that new life begins; new life that turns our life upside down; new life with new demands, but also new joys; new ways of life; new ways of love.
Often these days I have been left to ponder where new life in world, in our church and in our lives will come from. Perhaps it is from these moments, when God enters in, when Christ is born, when the Spirit lives in our life. Perhaps we are simply waiting for the moment when our hearts are opened, life is born, and we will never be the same.