Saturday, February 03, 2007

An Eternal Round

Sixty three years ago to this very cold day a petite, softspoken woman labors under travail of child in a Tooele hospital that bears her same name. This is the beginning. The woman has done this four times previous and despite doctors recommendations otherwise she is familiar enough with her ailing body to know it can endure one last run. Her breath catches. The almighty spirit of God rests upon the woman and she brings to light a daughter (not without complications). This is Rhea. A product of faith, destined to disseminate the same.

We are so enamored with beginnings and endings, are we not? In the turning of the earth the day does not end, nor does the night for each orbiting planet, and in the furthest reaches of a universe without age there is no beginning, and that is a thought I turn over and taste in my mouth from time to time. Because in a little hospital in rural Utah, in an oxygen tent feet away from a selfless mother, cries a baby whose life has just begun, at least by our standards. Yet in spheres beyond this stand scores of onlookers with eyes of finer material who see not a beginning but an ending. Now that is perspective!

Rhea lives and grows. She laughs and cries. She plays. She kisses, she falls, she learns, she thinks. She meets a prince and settles down, and in rural hospitals of her own she six times labors under travail of child and six times participates in the providential work of beginnings and endings.

I will not cheat the logs of heaven nor the jorunals of earth a descent life's rendering. But I merely offer, on a day fit for remembering, a small thought for a being whose familial sacrifices will impact generations of beleivers, scientists, athletes, musicians, prophets, politicians, linguists, and dancers in countries not her own and in homes that vicariously are, because isn't that where it begins and ends?

I submit that she will be comforted. I submit that she will inherit the earth. I submit that she will obtain mercy and kingdoms. I submit that she will see God with eyes open wide. For what does he see in her? He sees "what in God's eye (s)he is--Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his to the Father through the features of men's faces."*

Happy Birthday Mom.

*Gerard Manley Hopkins


Colby said...

That is a beautiful birthday blessing. Thank you for sharing it.


Jen said...

Les- this is very sweet. Happy Birthday Aunt Rhea!