By Kathryn Schmidt, assistant professor of music at Goshen College
Reprinted from Advent Devotionals
Last fall, I found myself alone in a parking lot near my car, clutching my swollen belly (beautiful belly!) and bawling. Hiccups. Groans. A sad end to a lovely pre-natal appointment.
“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel… Stir up your might and come to save us!”
We didn’t have enough money. The life-joy within me—now, a source of betrayal. “O God! Why did you bring us here, where babies cost money to be born? Money we do not have?!”
“You make us the scorn of our neighbors…”
Like the vine (v. 8), we had been transplanted and were trying to set down roots. But there were so many obstacles to overcome.
“You have fed them with the bread of tears. You have made them drink tears by the bowlful.”
But with God all things are possible! There has to be enough! This child, this fluttering of wondrous life will come whether there is money or not. Because life comes. Life came to Mary that cold evening with the bleating of goats, the stamping of hooves. No money. (No room in the inn.) But life! Sweet, bloody life bursting forth in a gush of warmth.
“Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.”
Our baby came, and there was enough. As for Mary, in a heave of abandon and with a bowlful of tears, she brought us Life.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 (NRSV)