Thursday, May 31, 2012
Easter Sunday is the quintessential Christian holiday that summarizes our faith quite succinctly: Jesus lives. It is the day that he rose from the dead after suffering and dying for our sins. The Son of God, the Son of Man who preached acceptance over persecution and, through love, brought countless sinners to redemption met his end nailed to a cross after a humiliating trial and a series of dehumanizing punishments that broke his body, but not his spirit nor his conviction. When he rose from the dead on that holy day, his divinity was validated and his power over death and sin fixed in the world forever.
His resurrection was not lost on me as I labored in pain that quiet morning. It feels significant that my son should enter the world on the anniversary of the day that Christ shook it to the core.
That was nearly two months ago, when he made that passage through a tunnel of darkness into a world of light, when he first breathed into his eager lungs the cool air of an early April morning. The first time that we stared into each other's eyes, both of us so new in the moment - a moment shared by many families every day but still unique in each experience. The first time he lay upon my chest, wrapped in my arms in an embrace symbolic of the nurture, of the protection I would fight to offer him for the rest of his life.
We fell into a love more pure, more expressive, more meaningful than any other relationship in the world could offer - the love of a mother, started nine months prior, for the child that God in his wisdom had given her, the whole and perfect human that sought refuge in her womb and would someday seek refuge in her wisdom. Our allowance as participants in the divine act of creation is among the greatest blessings the Lord could ever give us.
It is said that as the family grows, the love multiplies. It does not divide itself, taken away from one to share with another. Emotionally and spiritually it is a concept that seems easy enough to understand, but until it is experienced, it is a foreign word whispered into deaf ears. The birth of a first child is momentous, an occasion in which your heart swells until it is unrecognizable, until it fills every thought and dream and consumes you. The birth of a second child is experiencing this expansion one more time, the growing of something already so big that you can't imagine it could ever stop or ever be contained. It defies all we know of reality: Inside, we are bigger than we are outside. Inside, we overflow.
I look into my son's dark eyes, contemplative, thoughtful, ever-searching, and I see a soul so beautiful and tender beginning to break the chrysalis of a lifetime, ready to slowly emerge and dry its wings in each second that passes. I see the future in the curves of his face, the angles of his features, as I am called to watch carefully each slow frame of his emergence - pupae to butterfly, new moon to full, acorn to mighty oak. Infant to adult. Human becoming, and human being.
On Easter Sunday, the Son rose from the dead, my son emerged into the world, and for the third time, I was born again.