Okay. This in no way compares to any of Anna’s experiences present or future, but I had a moment of “freaking” yesterday about 4:00 in the afternoon. There I was, blithely working on academic stuff, when I got to thinking: Wow. A baby.
You know how people talk about their lives flashing before their eyes at crisis moments? Well, my future flashed before mine. Before I knew what was going on, I was thinking health insurance, Social Security cards, college fund, Christian catechesis, and . . . A quick phone call to a competent pastor helped me come down from the mental ledge. (Still, this morning while I was in the shower I was thinking again about college funds.)
The reality is sinking in. Adopting out our pets. Selling/Donating many of my books. I mean, one must make room for the baby!
But I am glad–oh, so glad!–that we got the news during this season of the year. Talk about a Christmas experience! “And who for us and for our salvation was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.” Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven” is terribly poignant for us this year.
In an earlier post, I gave a few thoughts on Mary. No surprise. With a wife who happens to be pregnant during the Nativity Fast, I’m doing a lot of meditating on Mary.
It’s interesting how docetic my manner of thinking has been about the Incarnation. Make no mistake: I accept completely the Chalcedonian understanding of who Jesus is, God and man. But it has all been so academic. Now I see the beginnings of the experiences my wife is and will be going through, and boy does it give me a more existential glance at Mary. I know that Mary had deep faith, and a purity and humility that “caught God’s attention” as it were. But that surely doesn’t mean she didn’t experience anxiety. Pregnant and unwed (though betrothed). All the dangers and concerns of pre-industrial civilization. I’m only speculating. But it’s encouraging to think that even with her great faith and obedience, she may have been somewhat anxious. And good to know that even if anxious, it did not diminish her faith–or her mission.
Now I grant you without shadow of doubt: Mary is a star player in this Incarnation saga. But, that Joseph is sure garnering my focus this Christmas. So open to God’s leading. Quick to accomplish God’s will. What courage that man had. What faith. Blessed Joseph, to be a father and husband such as you were!