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18 March 2020


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Melanie B.

Sitting in the confusion. I'm fascinated by the confusing moments, now that you point them out. How his Glory is confusing. I suppose the irruption of the timeless into time must create confusing ripples. We cannot comprehend fully what it means, so we are left with mystery. And mystery is scary, is confusing. It's untidy, to say the least.

I really love the pick up the baby moment-- because of course that's what you do.

It reminds me of when I got home from the hospital after my miscarriage. All I wanted to do was hold my baby. I suppose I was lucky-- blessed?-- I had a baby at home to hold, 9 month old Bella. I held her close and cried for the baby I couldn't hold, I'd never be able to hold, in this world. And it was oh so comforting-- I know so many friends who have had miscarriages who didn't have the comfort of a real live baby at home to hold and nurse and nurture. It didn't take away the pain, of course, but I won't pretend it didn't offer a lot of consolation and comfort in my time of distress.

I read somewhere that there are pressure points on your chest that if you push them will regulate your breathing, soothe and calm you. And that they are exactly where an infant's weight will rest. A built-in feedback loop to regulate our physical-emotional response. Holding a baby comforts not only the baby but the adult who is holding them as well.

And maybe Mary's sense of being bereft at the tomb, and the apostles at the ascension maybe that sense of losing him and being unable to be comforted by him... it's akin to the desire to comfort the baby and to be comforted by him. The privation of consolation. Jesus tells Mary not to cling to him, and my dad has always interpreted that as "don't cling to consolations". God gives them and God takes them away, but if we cling to the consolations, we might miss God himself. It's a very Carmelite thought, right out of John of the Cross.


I loved that you highlighted the moments of confusion. These feel like moments that I could make mine. I always pick the moments when the personalities in the Bible do exactly the WRONG thing, and latch on to those, because that's when they're the most human to me.

"Pick up the baby" is so natural. Thank you for your reflection and to Melanie for her response.

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