Sunday, September 25, 2011
Waiting for the Second Cry
Bright pain, muscles involuntarily heaving, a rush of blood and water, and another human being is born. The baby draws first breath and begins his life, most often with a cry. He takes possession of the first of his days , seeing and feeling, moving and exclaiming. He knows his life and will not give it up easily. I have sometimes measured the pace of my own breaths or, in particularly focused times, heard the rush of blood pacing the beats of my own heart. Life is physical, palpable, and so very real.
It also slides inevitably to final conclusion, usually lasting eighty years, more or less--long years of failure and triumph, all belonging to me, all trailing behind like dust I track in on my boots. Somewhere during my years, I found You. This is where I am supposed to say everything changed, but it didn't. Only some things did. I moved over, shared my life with You, and found You beautiful, generous, forgiving, and just. I learned to measure my life, not against other humans, but against Yours.
Yes, You became a man so that I could know what kind of man to be. But You have more:
Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, or of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God--John 1:12-13
I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.--John 3:3
I am too concerned with the moments of my life--how I spend them, how even I sacrifice them. You wait for the time when I care less about my life in You and more about Your life in me. You say I am born again, but this birth is not another human birth with a new twist. It does not give me another life. It ordains instead Your life in me.
My new birth does not create a new, holy version of me. My new birth isn't mine at all--it's Yours, taking on my flesh, You becoming part of me completely, the only way Your perfection allows. If I am made holy, it is not because I live in You, but because You live in me. If I cry this time, I cry with wonder.
Thought for today: If you are born again, what exactly has been born in you?