I fly over the dirt streaks of Utah, the sand dunes in Arizona, the stretch marks of earth. Where the ground has ripped, flowed and held together. Canyons in the body. I know what it would feel like to run my fingers across the tops of the torn land (if I could reach out from the airplane window). The globe is marked. I know what it feels like to be a marked globe; I know where those purpley-brown and white stripes get soft and thin. Pregnant, giving breath to the world. Both the midwest and my mid center are beautiful.
It looks like bread dough now. White, pocked, puffed. Your little feet step into me, your head jolts ungracefully up and down, smashing, plopping, looking for comfort. You knead me. You need me. The rolls. “…and the bread that I will give is my flesh.” (John 6:33) I tell you to hold still and stop wiggling. I jiggle beneath you. You press into me hard. “Ow!” We do communion with our bodies, in our breaking and crying, with the whine. “Stop it!” You look sorry. I feel sorry. We hold each other and find rest, eventually. You always find the softest places of me.
I look in the mirror and when I grab it it looks like cinnamon rolls in my fist which is like Christmas which is like giving which is “for unto us a Child is born.” Yes, body, for unto us a child was born. It started with blood before summer camp, and before all the other girls I knew. It started with secret meetings in the bathroom with a small blue and green box and the vent fan on loud. 143 blood cycles later, there was you. We’ve been practicing! Implantation spotting, vomitting blood into the toilet, blood draws in Quest Lab, bloody gums (floss more, mama), my blood-streaked warm baby laid upon me in the birth room, the enormous blood pads, the smaller blood pads, cracked nipples, our first anniversary after having a baby, the big fall when I tried to go running the first time after giving birth, 144 cycles. “This is my blood, which is poured out for you.” The wine and the bread and the remembering.
“This is my body, given for you.”
I hope it’s not unbearably sacrilegious to compare fussy nap time to the holy sacraments or having one baby and saving the entire world by conquering death. To compare myself, born in 1989, to the YHWH, The Father of Lights. But we share with Him. We share in His world, in His home, in His family, in His body. He shows us pictures and postcards and scars of what it’s all about, while we wait patiently to see and feel the whole scene ourselves. We maybe don’t know about groaning under the weight of heavenly wrath, but we know about groaning in L&D Room 304A. We maybe don’t know how strong the love for His children is, but we know how strong our love for our children is. We maybe don’t have scars on our side from a sword at the end of life, but we have scars on our sides to make new life. We maybe don’t understand the close kindred bond of the Trinity or how safely welcomed into that relationship we are, but we know sex and how new life is made from it. We maybe don’t understand how much more brightly we’ll be able to see, but we know the difference when we put our contacts in. We get to live in the analogies and hints.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
One more day, one more trip around the sun, one more moment in the Son, one more chance in this body -- joining with all creation in the song and dance. It's a gift.