Room for a Baby

Sometimes babies are born in the most unusual places: a subway station, the back seat of a taxi, the corner of a crowded restaurant.  We never know where a baby might choose to make his appearance into the world.

The pregnant mother makes all possible preparations, packs a little suitcase for her trip to the hospital, or lays out all that will be needed when the midwife arrives.  A little nursery is made ready, a place for the infant to lie safe and warm.  If there are available funds, colorful decorations are hung to attract the infant once his eyes are able to focus.

But all the time no one knows exactly when the baby will decide to be born—or how much in a hurry he will be to get here.  Sometimes the mother has no time to travel to the clinic or wait for the midwife.  She is not able to make the baby postpone his appearance but rather must cooperate with this child who is eager to become a citizen of this earthly kingdom.  Babies generally have their own time-table and will not be thwarted in their determination.

The godchild within us is indeed one of those with a birthing mind of its own.  We absolutely cannot predict when God will bring our transformed spirit into our conscious awareness.  It is God’s secret, meant to reinforce his design and determination to have his way, to act on his own time schedule.  And it matters not whether we have made any preparations at all.  In fact, our ability to make any preparations is highly unlikely.  This birth is God’s surprise for us, the best Christmas gift ever, whether it comes on December 25 or any of the other 364 days available.

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 December 2017

Tidings

Tidings of great joy

to you

in you

for you are being born into

a wonder

a grace

a being fresh and new

for you

of you

by you

with you

as you

scarce aware of space prepared

are knitting infant clothes

and humming lullabies

and all the while

know nothing

of the miracle

you are become

Ann Glover O’Dell

26 June 2009

What Wants To Be Born

What wants to be born in us?  What is eager to be hatched?  A new, guilt-free, anger-free being.  Our real Self.  Our original personality.

A self is born which, when a mistake is made gives an immediate apology because the complementary feeling is immediate and authentic.  We are immediately sorry for whatever misdeed we have committed.  So the apology is genuine and immediately forthcoming.  And even though the event may linger in memory, the wrenching guilt that used to linger, multiplying our not-OK feelings, lingers no longer.

Some scholars say our preeminent problem is that of shame: being ashamed of who we are–and who we are not, ashamed that we are not enough–in any situation.  We can’t do enough, know enough, have enough, can’t be enough–no matter what.  But guilt is the word we use to talk about our not-OK-ness.  And when the guilt disappears, the shame and despair it covers also disappear.

What wants to be born in you?  The real Self, the original you wants to be born–the human creature, begotten from the union of the inner masculine and feminine parts of the personality.  The union of your rational will with your creative intuition (conscious/unconscious) that produces in you the Nurturing Parent, Capable Adult, and Free Child.  The new self (having moved from childhood to adulthood to godhood) recreates our sense of awe and wonder and delight–the same that God experiences within his good creation, pronounced good from the beginning.  The goodness/godness within us is what we are searching for.  And what is searching for us.

The new Child is born–not childish, immature in its ways, but a new child-likeness–an innocence that lives in the world but believes the good will prevail.  That celebrates the good in everyone/everything.  That looks for the redemptive in every situation.  That is able to celebrate wonder and awe and the comic–everywhere.  That experiences joy, laughter, the expectation of every day holding the same excitement and newness that Christmas Day did for us as children.

Dream scholars suggest that when that happens we will dream of a wedding uniting a king and queen.  I say a dream of a dear child is what tells us either that ours has been born or is calling us to allow it to be born.

Our story begets its own fairy tale happy ending.  But ours is not a fantasy.  Ours is a ‘until death do us part’ union, which keeps us grounded in the inner life no matter what happens in the outer.