The Spiral of Life

Kathleen - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Oh, the moment the doctor laid my first-born son on my breast, umbilical cord still attached, his bare baby body all cottage-cheesey and mottled red, his heart beating like little bird wings, his eyes open wide, wide, deep as the ocean, drawing me in.

He knows me! He knows me!

Joy welling up, brimming over, the pain of the previous hours gone, forgotten, never happened. Husband at my head, doctor at my feet, nurse at my side, all vanished as the bright light over the birthing bed narrowed to a spotlight illuminating just the two of us. Welcome to the world, Matthew Wallace, I whispered as my fingers sought his. He grasped my forefinger and held on tight, his eyes locked on mine. My heart lurched.

He knows me! He knows me!

It would be many years later, 21 to be exact, when another meaning of this moment surfaced. When I saw all three of my sons for the teachers they were; understood the lessons of those hectic, chaotic years cooped up in a house run rampant with boys; grasped the truth of who is the Knower, who is the Known.

It happened during a game of funny faces, when my youngest son, Joel, the autistic one, cupped my face between his hands. Thirteen going on three, his childlike eyes arrested my gaze, burned bright with new intelligence. Searched me, knew me, forgave me, loved me.

He knows me! He knows me!

The night of our first-born’s conception my husband and I sat on top of Big Bear Dune. Lake Michigan shimmered in front of us, the sun a round, red orb setting in its western depths. Behind us lay Lake Lelanau, her waters reflecting the full moon rising, a communion host in the east. I doodled in the sand, over and over, a circle closing in on itself – a spiral. As I contemplated what I’d drawn, I knew without a doubt my womb contained another human being.

This I believe. That spiral – a life, a universe – spoken by God, expands outward at the speed of light. What looks at first like endless possibilities sometimes looks like chaos. And still it expands, ever outward, ever becoming more and more what it was created to be, beyond any mother’s love, intervention or best-laid plan.

21 years it took for my first-born son to become a man. 21 years it took for me to learn that eternity speaks through the eyes of a child. That Jesus likes to make funny faces. That God has a plan for all three of my sons, and despite all of my striving and trying and crying and praying, only God can see that plan to completion.

That God loves me for who I am.

He knows me! He knows me!