Wednesday, October 8 “about being pregnant”
The guiding assertion of these work day posts is that words matter. Our fatigues, when they get hard enough, suggest gloomy word choices; the beauty we encounter, if we pay attention, opens the fatigue to resilience and reminds us that beauty runs deeper. Does any beauty run deeper, and surprise us more, than giving birth? That’s not all there is to living for sure, but birth might prove the best of all metaphors. In The Letter to the Romans, Paul of Tarsus chose a specific Greek verb for groaning, the word that means a woman’s labor pains. It’s one of my favorite scriptures. What if all our fatigue and groaning were labor pains? All were absolutely worth it? Now that’s a daring idea, no?
“I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us . . . .
From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth;
and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly
as we wait for our bodies to be set free. . . . “ (Romans 8)
Chemistry professor Dawn Archey witnesses birth pangs in students like all of us do, groaning all around the place some times. In late September she sent me a poem she wrote c. 5 years ago during pregnancy. Reading it ove these last couple days is what brought Paul’s Letter and the university to mind. I am in her debt. Bet you will be too.
Best to read the poem several times with time for breathing in between.
Have a good day.
john st sj
Kudos to you, Lord God,
for making humans in only
I’ve been working on one for eight weeks now
and all I have is a proto-human
the size of a raspberry.
In six days you made
two full-sized humans.
Its hard work, God.
Even you had to rest on the 7th day.
Makes me feel a little better
about being tired all the time.