Today I'm sharing the story of my prenatal diagnosis of Ace's Down syndrome, which I received exactly one year ago this week. I've been thinking about as my own "annunciation" of sorts, God showing up and letting me know that my life was about to change, all because of one little baby. Sound familiar?
Here's a little bit of it.
I stare at this morning’s passage in Luke. The angel has just said to Mary, “God has a surprise for you” (MSG, 1:29-33). I’m reading The Message transliteration, and its words sound fresh to my ears.
I’m practicing , an ancient form of Scripture-reading long used by Benedictine monks to encounter the Bible anew. It can be translated as “divine reading,” a way of listening for God’s voice in the text of Scripture.
When I’m talking to people about lectio divina, I usually describe an image of the heart as a metal detector hovering above the words. I ask God to help my heart go beep beep beep when I hit the word or phrase that God wants me to see in some new, valuable way. Maybe it’s a message I need to take from the passage. Maybe it’s just a moment to tell me that I’m not forgotten, that I am God’s beloved. Either way, on good days, I come to this time listening.
There it is: God has a surprise for you.
In my experience, God’s surprises are almost always complicated. Last year during Advent, God interrupted my typical pregnancy with news that my life was about to change. It happened about as quickly as with Mary . . .
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