There are certain international truths that reveal themselves as we grow in each new phase of life. Recently, my growth has been outward; literally. As a 5′ tall, 8 1/2 month pregnant woman, the easy view of my toes is a memory and the reminder of the growing life inside me is evident to all. Because of this, the culture-crossing and multigenerational truth of which I am daily reminded is that every human has a response to this evidence of new life.
In John 1:18, we learn that one of the gifts God has given us through Christ is the blessing of knowing God, and I think God cherishes that closeness with us. He is a creator that desires to be in relationship; to be known. Made in his image, it’s no wonder humans thrive in community—it’s in our very makeup to both know and be known.
Technically I don’t need extra help or advice to have a healthy pregnancy. If ruled by my ego, this is a journey I could handle on my own, or with just my family. But, as it turns out, this journey does not belong merely to me, my unborn daughter, and my husband. It belongs to my extended family, a stranger passing on the street, the checker at the grocery store, and every person who experiences a little opening in their heart when we meet. With questions, advice, or a personal story, folks see this belly and their eyes light up with the desire to share in this monumental experience. I have the choice to allow them to feel known, and linked to this new life, just by stopping, listening, and caring for their hearts. It’s understandable that we get all passionate about Christ’s words, but I sometimes wonder if we’ve overlooked how much of Jesus’ ministry was about listening and allowing those in his presence to be known.
Contributed by Catherine Olson, Reedwood Friends