My dad gives us the Daily Guideposts every year for Christmas. I try and read it every day but usually skip a few days and get caught up later in the week. He emailed me today and reminded me to pull it out, that this would be a good one to start with. It gave me that excited-anxious-throw up-happy feeling all at once...
“ A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world ”
John 16:21 (NIV)
A friend of mine shows me his brand-new son, all of two days old, the size of a loaf of bread, his father looking like he's been sleeping in the woods for a week. I accept the infant gingerly as my friend shuffles off to make coffee. The kid weighs half of nothing, and he is sound asleep and drooling on my best shirt, which makes me unaccountably happy.
Do we ever salute and acknowledge and celebrate miracles enough? I watch the kid breathe; his chest is about the size of a sparrow, but it keeps inhaling and exhaling—miracle. His fingernails are the size of the letters in this sentence—miracle. I remember twice being in the hospital watching tiny people emerge from my wife and sobbing for any number of reasons, one being sheer astonishment at the perfect, moist, glistening beauty of those tiny miracles.
Do we ever acknowledge that every breath we draw and word we speak is a miracle? Hardly. Birds, bread, kindness, rain, the dawn that came again today, the silver river of drool filling the pocket of my best black shirt—miracles. Maybe there are too many miracles to sing properly; maybe we would never do anything but gape in awe and mumble, "Oh, bless me, thank You, thank You," if we were really attentive and respectful to the ocean of miracles. But once in a while we should pause and bow, perhaps with a dish towel over one shoulder in case of miraculous rivers
Dear Lord: Listen, this whole idea of infinitesimal new people emerging from people we love—very cool invention. Your creativity is astonishing all around, but this tiny-new-being-emergingfrom-
older-amazing-being thing—that is just deft.
By Brian Doyle