Night watches

The clock reads 2:52 am. The internet won’t dial up….and I can’t wind down. Or effectively shut up the wells of tears pooling.

So this is my night watch. Like David, the psalmist, I will choke out a cry of truth to Him from the blackness.

“Lord, I am not ready. For I know who I am now….and how the birth of that baby will transform me. And frankly and simply, I am scared.”

“Now I spend my days hidden behind agendas and schedules, the façade and safety of to-do lists…

But babies are bombs that explode and demolish those walls of pretense, exposing me to the glaring sunlight. My heart and all of its passions then stand beautifully unprotected, unmasked. Stripped of their daily gaudy attire of appearances, reputations, suffocating cultural expectations. Then do I dare to frantically rebuild those walls, madly driven by my fears and inhibitions?”

“Birthing babies are like earthquake fault lines ripping up the very earth under your house….babies tear the hard crust of existence open, allowing you to peer down into the secrets of being, of what it means to be human.”

“Am I ready to love that intensely? To be the first human being to touch another human being. Am I ready for that kind of superntural jolt of the divine? Am I ready for my hard heart to be softened?”

Babies do that you know. Soften you, melt you, massage life and reality into your very being. One does not merely birth a baby in a delivery room—one has heart transplant surgery. The beat and pulse of your existence changes. Your drumbeat is now a heart beat in complete harmony with God, as one. You see life–all of it, every aspect of it—as MIRACLE.

As this new person, naked, exposed, inhales his first breaths, you too are ripped open, exposed. The walls of apathy around your own soul are smashed to a billion smithereens and the light floods in.

You see how HOLY life is. How every moment is startling divine. You see people as they really are….as they have always been—-as needy, as vulnerable, as beautiful, as hallowed. Just as this baby is. The scales fall away and you are swept away in the torrent of truth—LIFE is HOLY.

The birthing of a baby is the deliverance of a message from God. About His passion for humanity, about the sanctity of existence, about the breathless wonder of being human and living. The wonder of a baby is the blowhorn announcing how EVERY human being needs warmth and love and swaddling.

We were all babies, all crying, brilliant pink, unclothed, flailing miniatures of the divine, created in His image. The ticking of the clock shrouds that truth, the process of becoming civilized whisks that fact under its rustling robes of sophistication and “maturity”. But these are mere guises for who we all are….bundles of crying humanity wanting to be held, soothed, rocked.

Am I ready for the brilliant glare of that truth, that holy light beam that will flood your world?

No, I am not ready. I am terrified by that intensity, that power, that divinity.

And I am terrified that once experienced, that I will never experience it again.

That perhaps I am on the brink of my last brush with the naked truth of life….that this will be my last glimpse at the gleaming secrets of who humanity really is.

I have had babies before. Five times this dazzling truth, this earthshaking experience has ripped my world—my crusted heart— apart. And I am left exposed, soft, open, receptive.

But the clock ticks on, and the cement walls of normalcy are rebuilt.

I solidify…and slip back into the dark.

What if this the last time the glorious light of truth will warm my face, melt my ignorance?

I am terrified of the brilliance of the light, of the exposure, of living in a state of softness in a harsh and indifferent world. But I am even more terrified that I will never pass this way again.

My night shift is over….I seek sleep. Knowing that He has heard my cry.

Lord, You know the fears in my feeble heart….and I know You hear my trembling cry. Thank You for holding my hand and never letting it go…..