Out of Reach: A Reading by Kayla Keele

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To open our worship on December 13th, member Kayla Keele shared the followed reflection she wrote about the birth of her son and the birth of God’s Son, too:

Caspian Quentin Keele entered the world at 11:25 am Central European Time on November 24, 2014. He was 8 pounds,  3 oz and 21 inches long. He was a healthy little baby with a round face and steel gray eyes. I felt tired, of course, but also content. Our baby, our long awaited little one, was finally within our reach.

Trevor and I took turns holding Caspian until it was time to move mommy and baby to the postnatal wing. A nurse took charge of carrying our baby while I attempted to walk to the waiting wheelchair. Instead, I passed out on the floor. They revived me and got Caspian and I each settled down in our own beds. I was given an IV in my arm  to combat the dehydration that was making me dizzy, and Caspian and I both fell asleep.

When I woke up, I turned on my side to look at my little baby. There he was, in his little bed, breathing deeply in peaceful sleep. I had wanted to hold him. I wanted him by my side. And that was when he sneezed. A sneeze is such an ordinary thing, except when the sneezer is a few hours old. It made me really realize that he was no longer a part of my body, but was a separate person entirely. In a moment when he was out of my reach, my heart was flooded with joy for the gift we had been given.

I can only imagine, from my experience, the range of things God must have felt and thought as he watched his Only Son coming into the world, being swaddled and placed in a manger, sleeping and sneezing. Just like Caspian’s birth was a welcome end to my pregnancy, Jesus’ birth had been planned for quite some time. But it meant that Father and Son, parent and child, had to separate for a time in a way they never had before. And that would make any parent’s heart ache.

Instead of being at his Father's side, Jesus was in a manger, sleeping off his entry into the world, lovingly wrapped in swaddling cloths by his young mother. And whether it was from the hay that was keeping him warm, or a bit of animal dander, or dust in the air, Jesus might have sneezed. And with joy, God signaled the angels: it’s time for a birth announcement in the fields. Go and tell humanity what they have been given.