Babies. They occupy my thoughts quite a bit. (No, I am not pregnant). Mostly I think about all my beloved who want them and for all sorts of reasons...cannot. It sucks. I sit with more women than you can imagine whose stories around babies are mostly broken-hearted stories. What I have come to believe is that the world of reproduction is wildly unjust. Wildly. First of all, if you are one of these women-- I am so sorry. And there are so many of you carrying this silent grief. You are in my daily prayers--which seems like a lame offering most of the time. But, I offer it none-the-less.
We also have babies growing in our community. Last Sunday, we gathered around a family to offer a blessing and our prayers for a safe delivery. (And to acknowledge both the fear and the joy at this pending transition). Of course, when we are expecting a small human at Humble Walk--we gather and rejoice in this new life. Yes, we are aware of all those who only know grief around conception. We stand with you. And we rejoice over this growing family. My friend, Glenn, says that Christian community is where joy is multiplied and grief is divided. I agree.
Which means, we celebrate and bless and pray for all those who are about to give birth.
And, we surround and bless and pray for all those who experience a miscarriage or infertility. This one is trickier, of course. Because not everyone wants a public acknowledgement of their pain. But what if they do? Then we do it.
Guess what? Mother's Day is nearly here. And that day tends to bring about a fresh layer of torment to everyone. Does ANYone enjoy this day? If you do, good on ya. The pressure is ridiculous--on kids to do it right, on dads to help them, on mom's to react well and enjoy the foot bath massage thingy.* And it's just a well of sadness sort of day for so many people. Sometimes, well meaning church people make it worse. Handing out flowers to moms or to all the females. Having moms stand. (Both of these practices are horrifying and awkward. DON'T DO THEM).
Church leaders, read through these before you make your decisions on how to handle the day. If you are going to include prayers for moms (which is not a bad idea...this mom can use all the prayers you can muster...), consider the rest of the litany in this blog post which recognizes a wide spectrum of mothering: messymiddle.
This is also helpful in general: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/a-few-things-you-shouldnt-say-to-a-childless-woman-20130503-2iyj5.html
*If you are considering purchasing a foot spa thingy for someone you love or admire, maybe you shouldn't. Yesterday, I saw an entire row of foot spa thingys at Valu Thrift. They looked brand new, friends.