Also waiting this week is a friend who is expecting her first baby. She has managed 9 months and a few days now, compared to my seven months or so when I was pregnant. It still felt like ages and not knowing what to expect was maybe the hardest thing. I definitely wanted to know whether we were having a little boy or a little girl, just to reduce the anxiety. There was no time for niceties when he came. One moment, we were laughing and joking with the nursing staff, the next, they gave me an epidural 'just in case'. Then I went into the operating theatre, with a little one who wasn't ready to come out, but who was getting distressed by the medicine being pumped into me. The anaesthetic did not work properly and although I felt nothing on one side, I started to feel the surgeon cut me on my left side. The anaesthetist asked me if I wanted to be asleep and before I had time to consider the options, I had said 'yes'. So neither of us was really there when he was born. His dad had to leave as it was a general anaesthetic and I was completely unaware of his first breath, his first cries. I didn't see him for three days, but I had the hope that I would. First the pain, then the joy.
When that moment came, it was, of course, incredible. Can you imagine how much more amazing it was for the friends of Jesus to see him alive again after three days of mourning his painful and distressing death? Three days can last a lifetime. Three days can be the difference between death and life, total dispair or unquenchable hope. I look at my little notebook, started in days of great turmoil in my life when I was also facing homelessness and see this: "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." This was written by Isaiah, who was a messenger from God to the Jewish nation hundreds of years before he was born. So I won't worry about the moving date deadline, but rest, for three days, five days, 10 days or more in the peace that I can ask for whenever I need it.