Friday, August 19, 2005

pregnant again

A couple months ago I announced to you that I was pregnant. Actually, I was just contemplating whether I might be able to get pregnant.
Last night at house church/small group/ gathering/, or whatever it might be called, (actually, we call it Salmon Springs Community Church, after the couple at who’s house we meet), I was talking about the preparation and process of preparing to lead worship on Sundays. Really I was confessing how totally spent I am on Sunday afternoons and how I find it impossible to sleep on Saturday nights. I likened my feelings, and Saturday night grappling, with being in labor. I said that Sunday morning was like giving birth, painful but beautiful and miraculous, and it all leaves me exhausted and post-partum depressed on Sunday afternoon. I get pregnant again on Monday, and the whole gestation starts over again. This is the ministerial cyclic life of Spirit leading for me. I get pregnant, the child grows through the week until I go into labor on Saturday night and deliver him on Sunday morning.
The biggest frustration is stepping up to give birth surrounded by so many who are utterly uninterested. Many have intentionally chosen to remain childless, many have adopted children whom they love dearly, but they’ve never suffered through labor and delivery. Many have borrowed babies or are babysitting so that they appear to have given birth. All these people who have adopted, or are babysitting, seem completely unaware that babies don’t come from under cabbage leaves, or that you don’t order them from the internet.
Now please don’t hear this as complaining, I’m merely expressing my emotions at the way things are when I get up completely bare and vulnerable before a birth room observation gallery who don’t realize what they are witnessing.
This is clear because usually, after my baby is born, someone expresses disappointment that it was a girl, rather than a boy, or that it had brown eyes instead of blue, or was darker than they’d expected. “You really should have delivered a brown baby, Rod,” they say. To which my heart replies, “do you not realize how I got pregnant, and what labor and deliver are like?”
So last night at Salmon Springs, I was expressing this because I was pregnant for the second time this week. I had to deliver for the faculty at the workshop this morning. I came home and labored all night. At 8:30a, I stood before the faculty and shared with them this little midwific analogy. I told them that we’d sing a Call to Worship, an invocation, and then we’d pray for the rest of the time. When the third song began, I noticed confused looks until, one-by-one, they began to understand what I’ve stood before them and ranted about to no avail. I created a situation in which they had no choice but to deal with what we were doing for what it was. There was no possibility of superficial complaining without self being exposed.
We sang our prayers for 30 minutes and went on with the day. While a few still felt that children should be seen and not heard, and others wished that the kid looked more like its uncle than its daddy, most of the family embraced the child and recognized him. My post-partum exhaustion waned in only minutes and the depression never occurred.
After lunch, a very supportive colleague came to me and expressed that he’d seen an extra dose of what he always sees from me in these situation. There was a clearer confidence this morning. I told him, no matter how much I loved my babies, I’d always worried to some lesser or greater extent about how the rest of the family would love them. Today, it didn’t matter to me, whether anyone else embraced him, because I was given to deliver and that’s what I’d do. I told him that back in June, I’d cremated the Apologetic Prophet. What was born of the burning was a new creature. Out of the ashes had risen the subversive pastor that he’d seen give birth this morning, the Apocalyptic Prophet that would speak when word was sought, and when all ears were closed, who will uncover what is covered so what is there can be seen.