The births of our first two children were laborious, frantic affairs. Due to long labors and deliveries, the babies were quickly hustled away by the doctors and nursing staff, and we were left too shell-shocked to really cherish the moment.
So when our third arrived relatively quickly, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, we cherished the opportunity to have an hour’s peace with just him.
It was a bit like the Nativity Story, sans livestock. Our pregnant pandemic had felt a bit biblical, so when we welcomed new life in the midst of it all, it felt prophetic, hopeful, and subversive, just like the birth of Christ. And while there was no room at the inn of what we imagined it might be, there was plenty of space at the stable of just surrendering to the surreal and wonderful reality of it all.
And there is still room there, because when our small baby baby opened his dark eyes for the first time, seeing the mother who had sustained him over nine long months of quarantine and uncertainty face to face, all the pain and uncertainty just sort of melted away, and all was in God and God was in all, now and forever, amen.
I guess that was my 2020 Epiphany: Gratitude for what is creates a space to welcome the miracles of life into your heart. Resentment for what isn’t or what hasn’t yet come to pass creates a barrier between which no love or hope or wonder can pass.
2020 is entering history, and 2021 has yet to be brought into being. As one year changes to the next, what remains will be the Love that loves us into being, that moves the sun and stars, that spins new life and unravels our plans, revealing even in the midst of darkness and death that Infinite Beauty in which we live and move and have our being.
Christmas is the celebration of God’s incarnate love for us. The Epiphany is our response to that love: we seek it with all our hearts, until we realize that God’s Incarnate Love is incarnating Love in us. It’s that simple and that incredibly wonderful.
But “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” This new year, in the midst of your darkness, seek that light, find that light, or be that light for someone who needs it. As you do, you may may have your own epiphany, and God will be all in all yet again.