My grandson was born two weeks ago, and since then his parents’ lives have been completely given over to helping him adjust to his new living situation.
I’ve gained an appreciation for all the adjustments he’s making. For learning to breathe air. For responding to the voices of his parents. For learning how to focus and handle light. For learning the satisfaction of a feeding schedule. For freedom of movement; escaping the swaddle to kick and flail without restriction.
He has quite literally come from darkness into light and from security into endless possibilities. From existing alone to resting in the embrace of a family.
Like my grandson, we have all been invited to make the transition into a new life. “You must be born again”, Jesus told a puzzled Pharisee.
So we humble ourselves and accept the gift of life, and discover that the great exchange is indeed like birth. We emerge from that prayer into the welcome of a family, spread all around this world.
We learn to adjust to the light, and start to notice things we’d long overlooked or dismissed. We see others differently – and ourselves, too.
The Holy Spirit fills us like the air fills our lungs, giving us a voice and a purpose in this new place, and we learn to discern the voice of our Father from all the others competing for our attention.
We learn the discipline of feeding from the word of God, gaining strength with each taste.
And as we adjust to our new life, we gradually discover that we have been offered purpose and opportunity and freedom to make a difference in the broken world that once held us captive. That the life we have been given isn’t for our own comfort, but instead designed to be spent as part of a grand and beautiful plan.
I cuddle my little grandson close, praying that one day he too will choose this second birth. For his days on this earth are numbered, and I don’t know if they will be many or few. But the days of redemption following the second birth stretch ever outward and upward, into an infinity of light and love.