So here's something crazy.
My due date is tomorrow.
I don't know if our little Shep is going to grace us with his presence then or not, but it's so surreal to think that after all this waiting, he's almost here. After a lot of trying to navigate abstract ultrasound screens and identifying him by, Feel this, I think that's his little foot, or I think he's sticking elbow out, soon we'll see him and hold him and smell his sweet little baby head. It makes me think of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13 that says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." (v.12) How crazy to think that all I know of the Father right now are just impressions of His feet and elbows. That someday I will know him fully, as He fully knows me. Someday I'll see Him as clearly as I'm about to see my little son. Mercy.
Today I made what I hope will be my last Trader Joe's run before little boy comes, just to get the 'necessities' - peaches, salami, watermelon juice, and curry simmering sauce. As I was checking out, my cute little checker asked if I knew the gender yet. "It's a boy," I smiled, "His due date is tomorrow but I don't know if he'll decide to come then."
"Have you had our spicy mango?" she asked. I said no, and she flagged another employee over. "Could you grab her some spicy mango? Would you like that?" I nodded eagerly. She told me about how her friend induced labor. It sounds like a pretty fun method. Basically, she ate the entire bag of spicy mango, then ate Thai food, then walked a mile. "This'll be on the house- for good luck!" she said as she tucked the mango into my bag. Before loading my bags into the cart, she called over Tiffany, the store's resident natural childbirth expert. She was pregnant with her fourth, and came over to encourage me and tell me all the things soon-to-be-moms want to hear, like, "you were made to do this," "when you see that baby it will all be worth it," "just breathe."
That moment was common grace, all of us huddled at the end of the checkout lane. It felt like church- these two women caring for me, making time during their work day to encourage me, slipping me snacks and advice. It's moments like those that make me love women and what we can be when we're not busy competing, comparing. It made me want to be that person, like Sam. I want to be the person who shuts down my lane to stand by someone who needs some encouragement, to nourish them and to bring other encouragers to rally around them, that bearer of common grace.
God, give us eyes to see those around us who need encouragement. Give us your wisdom to sustain with a word those who are weary. Thank you for your common grace- the rain that falls on both the wicked and the good, and thank you for giving us each other.