how precious

Joan’s daughter (my step-daughter) Jessica has just begun her first year as a medical resident in the OB-GYN specialty area. She is alternating time between Saint Luke’s on the Plaza and Truman Medical Center. The other day she entered a very excited post on her Facebook page that said she was about to do her first, unassisted C-section delivery. All apparently went very well, the baby and mother (and father) were overjoyed, and Jessica went on to the next task in her busy day.

But I had to stop for a moment and think about that baby. A new life entered the world at that moment. It brought with it a new history, and soon would have new thoughts and hopes and expectations and experiences. I know absolutely nothing about the family that received that new life, but I do know that nothing will be the same for them from this moment forward. They will do everything in their power to provide a safe, stimulating, and loving environment for little Baby New Life. They do not know what the future holds for them, but somehow they will do their best to deal with whatever comes their way.

The gift of life can be simultaneously miraculous and mundane… awesome beyond belief and astonishingly trite and trivial. We get to see, taste, and experience it every day and so we come gradually to ignore the miracle and wonder of being alive HERE and NOW. Not so for the “survivors” among us. People who have survived a life-threatening disease, or perhaps a terrible accident speak almost universally of their new-found appreciation for the absolute preciousness of the gift of life.

The fact of the matter is that life IS precious… whether we have survived cancer or not. Our faith and our time spent alone with God in prayer, study or meditation can be the doorway to kindling that awareness in all of us. And then we come to see that the heightened awareness of the preciousness of MY life leads to a heightened awareness of the preciousness of YOUR life. And that leads me to treat you with a new kind of dignity and respect… even if we have never met. And I am pretty sure that this is the kind of world Jesus had in mind all along.

My challenge every day – and I hope yours, too – is how will I both experience and express the love that is innately part of my being. Come to worship this Sunday and join together with a community of people who love life and the world we live in!

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