Nate and I got to glimpse our baby-to-be again last week at my 20-week ultrasound. Every time we’re offered a peek into this mystery of making, or get to hear the whoosh whoosh of that tiny hummingbird heartbeat, the miracle washes over me anew — not just this little forming life, but the unlikely, persistent glory of all being, all new beginnings.
One of my favorite psalms (139) sings of the divine presence at the heart of creation: “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Our Creator forms each of us in secret, and, I believe, is still steadily shaping us, slowly and deliberately behind the scenes.
I saw a post making the rounds online, a gentle reassurance that “There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long. So don’t expect yourself to do so either.” Even in verdant California, where magnolias bloom in January, we too have our seasons of quiet gestation, patient waiting, bare branches, seeds steadily taking root.
Jesus once compared God’s kingdom to a mustard seed. Planted in faith, small beginnings can bloom into towering abundance. I have an app that tells me the size of our little seedlet — the one who began as a mere poppy seed has already grown into a banana and, next week, a grapefruit! There are days I’m anxious to speed things up and meet this little stranger, to know everything will be safe and well. But I’m also trying to slow down and enjoy the gifts of this hidden gestation time.
I wonder, what seeds are taking root in your own life? What is gestating? A creative project, a life decision, a relationship waiting in the wings for renewal or discovery? What would it feel like to lean into the fullness of this waiting time, into God’s presence within the unknowing, instead of rushing toward a ripeness that has not yet been reached?
In our life as a congregation, it can feel challenging to still be waiting on insurance claims and, along with that, more concrete information about rebuild possibilities. Our slow and steady exploration of the possibilities of affordable housing together has brought up both excitement and anxiety. Sounds like gestation work. The process is not always glamorous, but every day there is important new life coming together behind the scenes.
My prayer is that we would be both patient and direct with ourselves and one another, both in our own lives and in our life together, listening for the whoosh of divine pulse, feeling for the kicks of growing pains and shared values, as new life steadily takes shape.