I'm reading a book called Christ of Celts by J.Philip Newell. The first chapter, The Memory of the Song, offers reflections on the birth of creation.
One of the first reflections asserts that creation was born of God. The earth and all living in it is an extension of God's being. I have heard so many times that the earth was created from nothing, but to be created from nothing would render it with little value.
But by affirming creation is also an extension of God's image, one must also believe that ultimately that the heart of life is good. And if I believe that, when I am looking at my life I want to live into the part of myself that is good and not the sin part. While ultimately the sin part is there, so many times I feel as though I spend more time reflecting on the bad parts of my life and character rather than the good.
The last few pages of the chapter says this in reference to another teacher, John Scotus Eriugena.
"Eriugena uses the analogy of sin pouncing on everything that is born. In commenting on the words from Genesis 4, "Sin is lurking at the door, its desire is for you," Eriugena says that sin is hovering at the door of the womb, ready to infect everything that comes into being. Given what we now know of the interrelatedness of life and how even the unborn child is infected by the psychological scars of its family or by the pollution of its wider environment, we may wish to say that sin is lurking inside the door of the womb. The shadow comes very close to the beginning of our lives, but deeper still is the Light from which we come. The conception of all life in the universe is sacred."
When Cara was first born, I sought peace in the fact that "she never breathed a breath of this tainted world." I recant. She did find the effects of sin through her life in the womb. She knew the heated fights of her parents. She knew her mother's stress of a job that at the time was very draining. She knew the brokenness of relationships and the pain they caused her mother. She received nourishment from food sources with chemicals poured into them. She knew the sin of life.
However, Cara also knew the Light, and I can tell you she loved it! Some of my most precious memories are of her kicking in my womb at our beloved church home. She would get so excited!! I remember one day during the service grabbing the hand of the person next to me, someone I hardly knew at the time, and putting it on my belly so she too could enjoy my wonder of a child's energy. I recall the day a friend exclaimed across the table in our New Member Class, "I just saw her move." Cara was an active baby, but most abundantly when we rejoiced in the presence of the Divine. I can only dream of how active she most be now!
Cara knew brokenness of life in death but also found the wholeness in resurrection, the Light of the world. I'm challenged to not forget that from which we were born, and draw near to the heart of life.