Thursday, July 18, 2013

Five-Minute (Last) Friday: Present

This post is in response to last week's Five-Minute Friday prompt. For those unfamiliar, Five-Minute Friday is hosted by Lisa Jo Baker on her blog. Writers write for five minutes in response to a prompt without over-editing or backtracking, then play show and tell on her site. I actually wrote it last Friday night at my mom's house right after a wonderful baby shower for my cousin and his wife. Because of how the rest of that weekend trip and this week went, I am just getting around to posting it. The experience was so meaningful that I still want to share it with you all, even though it's almost time for a brand-new Five-Minute Friday prompt.
Five Minute Friday

Standing close together, we line the edges of the room, forming a physical wall around the young couple seated among us. Prayers flow forth from the gathered body: prayers for protection, for safe travel, for the life of the unborn child we have come together to celebrate. They’ve told us his name, and he is real to us…although not yet as real as he is to the God who is knitting him together, even now, in his mother’s womb.

Being here in this holy moment, among friends and loved ones, is a gift. Seeing the connections between generations- grandparents, parents, children who are now becoming parents themselves- to have been known and to know each other through so many of life’s stages, to have walked together through sorrow and joy, to have prayed each other through some of the darkest moments- this is what it means to be present. This is God at work. This is the Holy Spirit forming cords that are not easily broken. We have received love, and we hand it down to our children just as it was handed down to us. We are witnesses to the faithfulness of those who came before, and we are grateful.

How could we be anything but grateful?

We send them forth in prayer, this couple and their child. They will travel back to their coast and we will remain on ours. The firm foundation that has been laid for us as part of this family will be their sure footing as they take their first steps into parenthood. The love we have for them will never be far from them, no matter how far away they are. And the One who knows all of us before we are made, who hems us in behind and before, will always, always be present with them.