I could not have asked for an easier pregnancy or a more comfortable setting in which to deliver, but even in a beautiful waterbirth center surrounded by skilled midwives and a loving husband, no books, class, or pieces of advice could have prepared me for the thrill and pain of labor. Through each contraction, I was able to find an inner strength and peace via my connection with Christ, but I still often clenched in pain without realizing it. This was until one of my midwives encouraged me to keep moving, so as to help my baby move closer with each contraction. Thus began a sort of slow motion rumba that eventually heralded new life, when my daughter, Amelia, made her way into the world one week ago.
I recently found out that a dear friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which is expected to conclude his time here on earth. The loss of such a soulful, joyful, and giving person has caused many to pause and weep in mourning, including him and his wife. Yet, alongside weeping, between doctor’s appointments, these friends continue to journey together, making music, traveling to spend time with loved ones, and maintaining a marriage full of love and intention. Their dance continues, whether life is promised or not.
Well before being crucified, Jesus knew about the deception, denial, sacrifice, and immense pain that was to unfold, and I’m not sure how he dealt with such a reality. Though some part of him had to have been mourning, Jesus danced through the pain, teaching, communing, and loving those around him instead of succumbing to bitterness or fear.
Do I seek to uphold just treatment of all men and women?
Do my words and actions reflect truth, humbleness, and love, even in the face of pain and oppression?
Fighting for rights and spreading good news are noble tasks, but do I begin such work with a flexible spirit, ready to grow and dance, even through pain?
Contributed by Catherine Olson, Reedwood Friends
Photo: Amelia Grace Olson, photograph by Emily G Photography