For me revelation didn’t come through burning bushes or trumpets, or golden voices from heaven. For me it came at on March 6th 2004 at 12:12 P.M. through a 3 pound 14 ounce wizened package named Katerina Annemarie.
Before that, I had thought about faith, but only in the most abstract of ways. Why people believed what they did, how they came to believe it, it was all fodder for intellectual conversations. It was something to be analyzed, not experienced. I was more in the world than of it. But on that lovely day in early spring, everything changed.
This I believe, that children teach you more about God, whatever you perceive that to be, than any church or holy teaching ever could.
My pregnancy was difficult. I was a little older, had health conditions, and Katerina came prematurely. There were serious complications to overcome. I easily could have died. But once she was here, it seemed none of that mattered, not really.
Now, the lessons of faith seem endless. She has taught me how to gladly sacrifice and serve, given me a glimpse of the ideal of a selfless love that you would die for; that makes you want to be, and often succeed in, being more than what you really are. Staring at her face can feel almost like an act of worship. The understanding she has given me of the connectedness of all human beings, however imperfect that understanding is, sometimes overwhelms me. It is often a feeling of being part of eternity, a mystic sense of immortality that had before seemed so elusive, and illusory. I finally feel somewhat at peace with my place in the universe, that there really is some sort of grand meaning, deliberate or otherwise in my life.
She has become my Rock of Ages, my own tiny piece of the Divine. She can be frustrating, brilliant, funny, tiring, heartbreakingly beautiful and achingly lovable; sometimes combinations of these things all at once. Even her temper tantrums are like a force of nature, capricious and full of passion. I can think of no finer guiding light of my existence; even if that light watches Teletubbies to the point of obsession.
One sunny breezy day not long ago, I took her to the grocery store where she received a balloon which I tied to the cart. As we went back to the car, her sweet, simple laughter at it flying behind us in the wind felt like a clean shard of joy that had pierced my heart. It is the only time in my life that I have almost felt that I heard the voice of God, and that I had been blessed with that God’s warm and benevolent smile.
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