The world just got smaller and infinitely older. The pressing urgency of today’s news fades into the sleep deprived haze of the father of a four week old baby. My thoughts sweep inexorably into the future through my two baby’s eyes. My worries of the moment shrink toward irrelevance. Shrill voices shilling the next extreme conspiracy sound like the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher.
We have food, and we are warm. I have a job, and we have doctors for the boys. The price is dear. Does owing a few more dollars to mastercard dent my shining moment of unity with reality? No. I feel a connection with my father and his father as they worked to care for their kids.
I realize I am closer to the farmer who owed the bank more at the end of the year than he did at the beginning of the day. The coal miner whose rent and food cost more than his salary. Figures no one taught me about in history class become real and the history of the world stretches into the past as well. I don’t want the government to give me money; I want them to give me justice.
The connection with those “others” may not be the same as my connection with my family, but my love of them sows the seeds of connection to a wider world of struggles across a long sweep of history around the world and in our backyards.
On Sunday, the theme of providence and acceptance clash with my indignance and desire for progress. Crystallizing clarity brings into focus an acceptance and joy in the moment wrapped within the Christian demand that the present includes a peaceful struggle for a just and caring future.
I admit that I love to cuddle my boys. I love to feel Charlie’s little, nearly bald head, tucked against my chest. My favorite moments of the day is when out of dead sleep a footy pajama clad toe kicks me in the lip. Mikey is just big enough now that if the swaddle, shush, and tummy message don’t work, I can tuck him against my side, too, and he drops instantly into slow deep breathing sleep. I am surrounded by the most intimate targets of my loving intention. . My favorite moment because after they wake me and before I fall asleep, I hear my wife’s steady breath and the unven noises of our children. This is my favorite moment because I know at the most profound level that all is well in the world. The universe stops for a moment. Nirvana and heaven come incredible close to a small rented bedroom in Ohio.
That isn’t a bad place to end each day. That isn’t a bad place to start each day. It’s a great place to live. It’s a great place to find a taste of paradise and know not just the face of God but the heart and mind of God. The experience kindles a subtle slow burning intense love that sees through barriers to the unity woven through reality.