Flames of fire, shafts of illumination;

Disconcerting messengers of God;

Assuring a woman that she can give birth,

Telling a man what she bears is

Gift from God; challenging us to

Look, and not seek life where only death

Is found; opening doors, surrounding us with

Care, surprising us into fresh understanding.

It was not the first time

You had been there waiting, wondering. This time there was a quickening of the senses,

certainty that you would give birth.

A flash of insight filling you with terror,

How could this be?

The disconcerting messenger insisted

What you would bear was gift of God.

No need to wonder how:

The grace you needed was already in you,

Slowly maturing to the point of birth.

No one told you then how birth is painful,

Creation tearing you to the core.

That would come later. For the present,

All that's needed is your 'Yes'.

Anna Lewin

from 'Candles and Kingfishers'

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