It's a curious thing, really. But I know it's a real thing. Mothers of many who are nearing the end of their child-bearing years experience a longing--a painful, burning longing for another infant. We find each other in the pain and we talk quietly in the dark of the morning. We pray mightily for each other and hold our collective breath as we wait for news. We share the cyclical disappointments, the heartbreaking losses. And we wonder together: What did God have in mind? Why did He inspire in us this holy longing for a child? Why does He let us want something so much? We've been faithful and obedient and open and, at the end of this season of our lives, it hurts so much to long for something we know so well and to find that it is no longer His will for us. Why does this beautiful, full gift of life-bearing love seem to end with longing and loss? What are we supposed to do now?
I think, maybe, just maybe, this answer is in Christmas. I think we who know so well, with such certain familiarity, what it is to have life live and move within our very beings, are called to be dwellings for God. It is Ann, the poet among us, the one who listens so well, who articulates it for us. Perhaps now, in our morning conversations, wedged between our offerings and our intercessions, we might have instead, understanding. We hope, we pray that we will one day very soon be dwelling places for a baby. But we know, with ever-increasing certainty, that we are called to be dwelling places for the Holy Infant. He alone can fill us forever.