Time is like a prison. I feel simultaneously confined and stretched (in terms of my patience, as well as around my abdomen). I long to behold his face, to smell him, to feel his baby breath on my neck.
Fact: I am one of those women who have many, many false labors before the real one. If my waiting period is an end-time movie, a whole slew of crazy-weirdo people would have to give all kinds of false alarms before the end actually comes. I don't know why they bother because Christ himself said that no one knows the hour. It will come like a thief in the night. Seriously, people.
OK, fine. Perhaps waiting for my labor has very little to do with the end of the world. But you know what I mean, right?
So, we shall continue to watch, and I am trying to pray.
Recently, I stumbled across a story from the Holocaust. It's taken from a book I read a long time ago, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. In it, two young Dutch sisters, Corrie (the author) and Betsie, were imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. At one point of the story, they wondered how they should pray after learning that their barracks were infested with fleas:
"That's it, Corrie! That's [God's] answer. 'Give thanks in all circumstances!' That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!" I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.
"Such as?" I said.
"Such as being assigned here together."
I bit my lip. "Oh yes, Lord Jesus!"
"Such as what you're holding in your hands." I looked down at the Bible.
"Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all these women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages."
"Yes," said Betsie, "Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we're packed so close, that many more will hear!" She looked at me expectantly. "Corrie!" she prodded.
"Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed suffocating crowds."
"Thank You," Betsie went on serenely, "for the fleas and for—"
The fleas! This was too much. "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea."As the story unfolds, they later found out that the flea-infestation was the only reason for their brief moments of freedom. They were able to read the Bible and talk openly to other women in the barracks because the guards refused to enter their flea-infested quarters. Betsie was absolutely right to give thanks in the midst of the fleas and for the fleas.
"Give thanks in all circumstances," she quoted. "It doesn't say, 'in pleasant circumstances.' Fleas are part of this place where God has put us."
And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.
Hans thinks that waiting for my labor is nothing like people dying and starving in a Nazi concentration camp. He has a point. And I agree, with all my heart. But you know what I mean, right?
So, I shall give thanks in the waiting and for the waiting.
Photo credit: Our favorite photographer, Auntie Cat