I've had very little sleep this week. I'm just warning you is all. The following may not be entirely coherent.
The baby is going to be here very soon. Last night was a contender for the birth date, but Laura feels better today. We'll see how she feels tonight. According to the doctor the due date is the 22nd, though the Ides of March was the original due date. It got shoved back. I am partial to the 15th simply for its Shakespearean value, but that may have little bearing on the date of the actual birth. Either way, the baby is full term and we've had other babies weeks early before. I suppose we'll wait to see.
We are expecting a boy, as that is what the ultrasound technician told us, and we have a name chosen, though it is not written in stone - it seems to change every couple of weeks. (To think that the name you so identify with, which is so much part of who you think you are, came down to the will of two very tired people who forget things constantly and dress rather badly can numb one's mind.) We think his name will be Samuel David, though it very well might not be.
Seven children. Who'd have ever thunk it? Lord, have mercy.
Speaking of Lent, it has become one of my favorite seasons in the Church Calendar - this call to come home is a precious, needful thing, and I am so very thankful for it. The call is year-round, of course, a silent presence behind the noise of our lives. It says, "I am here. I will wait for you." Patient Lover, who can resist your graces?
I've been writing some articles on poverty over at Tyndale's NLT site, and the early Church Fathers have been speaking quite loudly to me (they always seem to when you give them their say), Saint John Chrysostom in particular. I give too little thought about so much of what I do, about so much of how I live. My life, after all, is not lived terribly different than most Americans' lives. And yet so much of what I do is avaricious. Like having a full pantry and fuller closets. Like being isolated from the needs of my neighbors. I could go on. I probably should. Read Chrysostom's Homily 6 on Titus sometime to get a feel for what I'm thinking about these days. At one point in his homily, he talks about the impediment that riches are and the liberty that poverty brings - as illustration he talks about a nekkid man and a fully clothed man (think flowing garments and robes). Who is easier to catch, he asks? Homecoming and greased pigs is all I could think of, but it's pertinent, isn't it? I also thought of Mark, running off nekkid from the soldiers. Perhaps such is what Chrysostom had in mind. "Almsgiving," he says, "is the mother of love." And I'll stop with the following quote from another saint:
"The Lord's mercies are innumerable. Look at all the earth supplies in summer and in autumn! Every Christian ... ought to imitate God's bountifulness. Let your table be open to everybody, like the table of the Lord. The avaricious is God's enemy" (St. John of Kronstadt, from My Life in Christ, Pt. 1).
Live Jesus. Practice Poverty. Give alms.