My wife, Jennifer, is 8 ½ months pregnant with our third child. Her due date is July 4th (Independence Day in more than one regard). She is about to burst and is dying to hold our child (which by the way, is another girl).
Not too long ago we were lying in bed and I had my hand on her belly feeling the baby move. As I did, I began thinking about how strange it must be to have this “other” living inside of you. My wonder ran off in all sorts of directions and I was just trippin’ out at the whole experience. Now seeing as I am a guy and I’ve never had, nor ever will have, a baby living and growing inside of me, I began asking Jennifer some questions. At least that was my intent, but we never left my first question, which was, “Jen, are you constantly aware of the baby’s movement inside of you? Like all throughout the day?”
She paused and thought about it, replying, “You know, I’m not. It is only when I sit still and pay attention that I feel her moving inside of me. I mean there are times when she moves a certain way and it gets my attention while I’m going about my daily stuff, but typically, it’s only when I am still that I feel her movement.”
How true is that. I mean it’s true with babies and pregnant women and all (or so I’m told by one), but how true it typically is with God as well. God is constantly moving in and all around me. God is here. Present. But it seems I am only aware of God when I slow down, quiet my inner self, and listen, watch, pay attention. Sure, sometimes God moves in such a way that really gets my attention even when I am oblivious and haven’t given God much thought. But typically, it is me not paying attention to God’s movement that causes me to think God is not moving in and around me, than it is God not moving. Does that make sense?
See, God is moving all around me, every day, every minute, in all sorts of ways, in every life. It is during those times when I listen, and watch, and am willing to participate in what God is doing, that God’s movement begins to surface to my awareness. And sometimes, just me feeling and watching and witnessing God’s movement causes me to smile in wonderment at how beautiful and good and kind God truly is.
Which causes me to think back to seeing and feeling my wife’s belly roll around from Scout’s little elbows and knees and hands and feet and bottom and head. Even experiencing her movement from the outside-looking-in causes me to smile in wonderment at how beautiful and good and kind God truly is. How much more so Jen, who gets to share in the beauty of caring for “another” who dwells inside of her and who is constantly moving.
But who am I kidding, there is no way in hell that I would be able to go through the pain of birthing Scout. So I’ll accept my maleness and gladly be on the outside-looking-in. What can I say, if men were given the lot of childbirth, humanity would have become extinct a long, long time ago. (I just realized that this last paragraph has nothing to do with this post. Oh well).