The angel of God said, “What’s this? You ask for my name? You wouldn’t understand — it’s sheer wonder.” Judges 13:18 (MSG).
Wonder and Grace – Part 2
Manoah and his wife were just an ordinary couple, from an underwhelming town, facing challenging and heartbreaking circumstances… they could have been any one of us. Until an angel visited them and told them that their dreams were about to come true.
Monoah’s wife described her encounter with God as terror laced with glory. I think that almost sums up the experience of being awake and alive in the world.
I remember giving birth to my first child; not knowing what to expect, having him struggle and push his way violently out of my body, delivering a brand new life into the world. As he was released from my body and placed on my chest and I held him for the first time, a powerful and ferocious love rose within me. It was a wonder-filled moment.
Then another emotion arose and has been present with me ever since: complete and utter terror.
I think one of the riskiest things for your heart is both to want and to have a child. For those of you, and I know there are many (I was one myself for a couple of years), who are facing infertility, you already know this truth and the heartache around it. We stand with you in your pain.
The terror of not being able to completely control what happens to my children is always with me. I have no idea what’s in store for my kids, or what they will face throughout their lives. There are no guarantees, no certainties. But I’m “in” – involved, engaged, enraptured, entwined – heart and soul, until the day I die. Partly, it’s some of this terror that makes the love that exists between my children and I so glorious.
Love is terrifying and glorious.
A few nights ago, I spent the most heartbreakingly beautiful thirty minutes with my daughter. For some reason, the “finiteness of life” penny dropped for her, and that night, as she went off to sleep, she cried over the eventual deaths of everyone she loves, and I cried with her and hugged her tight. She said again and again, “I don’t want you to die mummy…” It was holy and sacred.
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