December 5, 2008

A post inspired by song lyrics.

Posted in Things I Think About tagged , , , , , , at 5:51 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I just walked down the street to the coffee shop –
Had to take a break, I’d been by her side for eighteen hours straight.
I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk,
Pushing up through the concrete like it was planted right there for me to see.
The flashin’ lights, the honkin’ horns all seemed to fade away;
In the shadow of that hospital at 5:08, I saw God today.

Atheism is a difficult concept for me to wrap my mind around. I understand why some people turn their backs on God – this isn’t an easy world to live in. There’s so much evil, so much loss, so much sadness, so much hurt. Even if you’re reasonably privileged, even if you’re a really good person – no one is exempt from the hard knocks that this life has to offer. There have certainly been instances in my own life when I’ve questioned God, when I’ve been angry with Him, when I’ve told him that something was horribly unfair. I’ve had to remind myself that He is in control, that He won’t give me anything that I can’t handle. That despite the hurts, I have been incredibly blessed.

But for someone to believe – really, truly believe, that there is no God, that just boggles my mind. To believe that this entire planet is the result of a freak explosion, a random occurrence, a mishap – entirely unintentional, just happenstance. To view a breathtaking landscape and think that no one had a hand in it. To gaze into the heavens and not know that you are just a tiny piece of something greater.

I saw a couple walking by, they were holding hands –
Man, she had that glow –
Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice she was starting to show.
I stood there for a minute takin’ in the sky, lost in that sunset
A splash of amber melted into shades of red…

It especially baffles me when it’s a mother who doesn’t believe in God. The very physics of pregnancy is amazing…one day, you’re just you – the next, you’re you plus a living, growing human hidden deep inside. You watch your body grow and change, you see this child on the ultrasound screen, eventually you even watch him or her moving around beneath your skin. And then one day, given the chance, your body does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and you’re holding a brand new person that wasn’t there before…

I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass –
She’s sleeping like a rock,
My name on her wrist, wearing tiny pink socks.
She’s got my nose, she’s got her mama’s eyes,
My brand new baby girl –
She’s a miracle…
I saw God today.

This part of the song chokes me up every time. Twice in my lifetime, I have been fortunate enough to carry a pregnancy to term, to dream and hope and wonder about the little person growing inside me. Twice I’ve held tiny, pink newborn baby girls, damp and sticky and perfect, and marveled at their little faces, fists, feet. Twice I’ve looked at brand new people, full of all of the possibility this life has to offer, and known a love that I have never, ever known before. And twice I’ve known that I was allowed to take part in a miracle. A cell from my body and a cell from his may have been used in the mechanics of it all, but I could no more create a beautiful new life of my own doing than I could jump up and grab a piece of moon.

How could any mother – especially a new mother, holding her brand new baby – not look into that child’s eyes and not know that she was looking at the face of God?

I’ve been to church, I’ve read the book,
I know He’s here but I don’t look
Near as often as I should –
Yeah, I know I should.
His fingerprints are everywhere,
I’d just slowed down to stop and stare –
Opened my eyes and man, I swear,
I saw God today.

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