To Kill a Mockingbird
Baby clothes are washed. Everyone’s fingernails have been clipped. Those cobwebs in the corner were finally vacuumed. Groceries are stocked. Grandma is standing by the phone.
This pregnancy has nearly reached its magnum opus. Soon I’ll get to hold the baby in my arms rather than waddling like a hippo-sized penguin with it balanced under my belly button. The anticipation is growing, and I want everything to be ready.
Unfortunately, I am not one of those who make neat, tightly woven nests. I’m flighty, as bird-brained as they come – and that’s when I’m not even pregnant. Add homeschooling, five little boys, and general homemaking in a little house, and life gets messy. Really messy.
It was about 7:00 yesterday evening that I had to admit the truth. Grandma had graciously helped me with laundry all day, even changing the sheets on the top bunk beds (always an adventure, even when you’re not pregnant). I had just pulled the toddler from the bath. A second later, the little streaker raced into our bedroom, clambered onto the freshly laundered white sheets, snuggled down next to the pillows with a huge grin… And peed.
That was when I should have started humming, “Let it go… let it go…” But I couldn’t. It did bother me. I stood there, diaper in hand, staring face to face with reality (and a happy naked baby on a wet mattress.) Everything is not going to be ready for this new baby. No matter how hard I’ve tried…
It would be nice to plan a birth like we do a wedding, every detail accounted for right down to the weather. But every baby born in a snow storm is proof that God has other ideas.
You’d think I’d know this by my sixth child. You can’t prepare for a miracle. Not really, even though you know it’s coming. There is a new soul coming into the world. A new promise. A new person. Sure, you can buy diapers, make freezer meals, and practice deep breathing for labor, but you can’t be really be ready to carry the weight of a fragile new life in your arms.
I’ve thought of Jesus often recently. He steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem in the weeks before his death. He prepared himself. He prepared his friends. But still, the night before his gruesome torture, he wrestled with control. Jesus had complete control of his destiny. And it was the one thing he had to give away.
My body will be held by others even as his was.
I will go through contractions much like he bore every lash of the whip.
Others will cover me in clothes I would rather not wear (those darn one-size-fits-none hospital jonnys) just as they clothed him in robes to mock his kingship.
I will bleed and cry in anguish for another even as he did.
Through pain, I will give life to someone helpless to live unless I do this. Just like Jesus.
After the marathon of birth, I will carry and sustain a new life that won’t say thank you or appreciate all I’ve done for it, similar to what Jesus bears in our salvation.
I will lose control of everything that is comfortable and predictable in my life for the joy set before me. Just like he did – for me.
Can I be so bold as to associate my own life with the life of God himself? I think we – as mothers – are given this singular chance to carry in our own bodies the death of Jesus so that his life will be revealed by it. (2 Corinthians 4:10).
This amazing miracle can only happen as I give over control of every little detail of my own life. Sweat, pain, tears and humiliation will birth a new, perfect, fearfully and wonderfully made masterpiece. There is no other way.
And this little masterpiece will fill my heart with joy like nothing else on earth. And then it will pee on my bed.
I give up.
This nesting thing is for the birds.