I sewed red thread into an old tissue last night. A tissue that was used by someone in our community almost a year ago. The day we wept tears that could be weighed in pounds. The day the floors of the Carlson’s home were littered with these white, crinkled, soft papers. When I picked them up they were still wet with the memory of what was–the death of 2 babes in our small, young community. Last night they were dry with memory of what was and continues to shape our identity.
Yet a new day has arrived and we’re caught. Between death and coming life, coming life and death. How dare God bring a couple and a community into this tension! It is a crosspiece that causes our heads to strain with injury to look up to the heavens with confidence and rejoicing, but how can we turn our heads away from the precious life that may be born tonight?
We are caught and this is a story we carry. This is the story I sew red thread into a small, seemingly insignificant tissue: declaring the life that surges through us even still. I too carry new life, several women in our community are carrying new life, which severely contradicts last year’s barrenness.
We are caught because in our Christian tradition we are asked to remember. And, not to remember in passing or glibly, but to feel, taste, smell, see and hear the past, which only makes our present moment more poignant and eternal and sacred.
Bring this new child into open skies, kicking and screaming with a demand for life. This is my prayer. May this new boy demand life and find it, may his parents be seeped in joy as they remember their first boy and make room for their second.
We catch and are caught today, something only brave souls see and experience.