by Sister Laureen Marie Painter, OSF
Just this morning, I received a text message (left) announcing the birth of my 45th niece/nephew (greats and great-greats included of course)! What a wonderful day for my family as little ones bring so much joy and albeit challenges but nonetheless great promise that the generations will continue. New birth reminds me that in these days of so much change, there is a constant….Life will go on and hope is just around the corner.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus said “To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.’” Jesus compared a generation of people in his day to children who really were caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” For today’s generations, the spectrum between dancing and weeping finds us challenged for the most part as we seem unable to find “our” place on it…we are between a rock and a hard place. We are starting to forget what life was like just 7 months ago and forging new futures is our “business of the day.” We are weeping for what can no longer be, for what we no longer have; we are, of necessity, finding a way to dance about life as it is now and will be in the near future. New life awaits us in spite of the birthing pains that we must go through. Hope is just around the corner.
Like expectant parents that rejoice in the new life on the way, we try to rejoice in whatever lies before us. We make plans, think of naming and re-naming our future, share the good news that God has blessed us with a promise of presence, and prepare a place for anyone and anything new coming into our lives. Gender-reveals help parents plan more definitively for their miracle on the way; “generation-reveals” assist all those who are picking up the pieces of a life once lived, adapting to the presence of a new life, and preparing for future generations. Sometimes there is dancing and other times there is weeping. But George Abram and all the other little ones born into this new generation bring hope around the corner.
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe; plans to give you a future full of hope.” (Jeremiah 29: 11-13)