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Posts Tagged ‘first breath’

A Birth Story

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It’s three boys and …

Last evening I sat down to catch up on social media, when I noticed that a local animal protection agency was airing a live stream of a cat giving birth.

I clicked.

Two hours disappeared quickly (for me, not the Momma cat).

I went to my daughter, to share in the exciting event … “Ew” was all I got from her.

I went to my son, who was eating a ‘snack’ (just half an hour after finishing dinner), to see if he would like to view the miracle of birth … “Mom, I can’t watch this while I am eating, I’ll be sick” was his response.

So, I cozied up in my chair and watched solo, while the Momma cat (Sugarplum) delivered number four.

I then heard movements in the kitchen (with three teens in the house, there is always movement in the kitchen) so I took my device to share the view with our International ‘son’ from China. But, his water was boiling for tea, and he needed to return to his studies.

I climbed the stairs, while staring at my device, knowing that hubby would LOVE to watch additional felines enter into the world … he did look, but the call of the hockey commentator had his full attention.

So it was just me about two thousand others left to watch the final two arrive.

Pretty soon, Sugarplum was panting and growling … number five soon followed. Now two gingers and three dark.

After quite a ‘break’ number six, another dark one emerged.

This cat knew exactly how to breath, what to do and what position to get in, without a how to manual in sight. As each kitten was born she gave them a thorough tongue bath. She cleared fur away from her underside so the newby’s could find their source of nourishment. She endured their dog-piles as she was struggling to push the next ones out.

Watching this furry mom, I was also hearing the commentary of the process, complete with human directions for this feline momma. I had to laugh, as this cat has more instincts in this area than we on two feet will ever have.

The miracle of birth is amazing. The manner by which life duplicates life …the efforts of the female to push this new life out from her body, the waiting for and then the anticipated moment when that first breath is taken.

That first breath …

The sign of life, unattached to any other … the final act before entering into eternity …

Holy ground, as we attend both the first and final breaths.

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Back on the first Sunday of December (the first Advent Sunday) I posted a guest post called Do You Hear What I Hear?

For me it was the message that God seemed to be continually whispering to me, as the Christmas season was approaching, as the chaos of the festivities kept getting louder and louder, as the focus I so desired kept getting drowned out. It was the message to “listen for the still small voice.”

Really the still small voice is barely more than a breath …

It is the breath of Genesis 2:7, “and the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

It is the breath of Ezekiel 37:6, I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

It is the breath of John 20:21-22 , “again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

And,

in the still of the night,

in a simple place for animals,

not an earthquake,

not a rushing wind

… not even a fire,

but through the still small voice of a baby

taking His first breath

still,

an act of God.

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As I entered the quiet room, I flicked on the light … no movement.images

I moved the blankets, still warm with the heat of his body, down off his chest … still no movement.

This man-boy sleeping before me is completely without movement, even the rise and fall of his chest with life-sustaining oxygen is almost indiscernible.

Waking my son recently gave me a birds eye view of the effects of God breathing life into man and woman.

When I entered his room he was completely unaware of my presence, of the bright lights being turned on, or that I had moved his blanket off of his upper body. He lay on his bed motionless, even the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed was almost without motion.

When we sleep our breathing slows immensely, because our muscles and organs are not needing large amounts of oxygen in their resting state. As our breathing slows, our body’s processes slow, it is as though the life within us were hibernating. We are still fully alive, yet we are not fully living our life.

Some of us live our daily lives as though we are still in that hibernating state of sleep. Our bodies function, we do all that is needed to be done in order to sustain our existence, yet we live as though we are asleep, our organs functioning, but not as though we are fully awake … not as though we are fully living our lives.

As I worked at stirring my son, the moment of his waking was discernible. He inhaled a deep and audible breath, and as that first breath of the day was entering his lungs, signs of life were also discernible in his body. His eyes moved behind the veil of his lids, his limbs moved and he stretched his body, as though making more room for the oxygen entering his lungs.

His awakening, heralded by his intake of the first big breath of the day stirring every cells in his body to be fully awakened, fully alive.

This is the freshness of each new day, of each new year. To take in the breath of life given to us by our Creator, and to make our days, our years, our lives worthy of the gift He has given.

“Then the Lord God
formed a man
from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living being.
(Genesis 2:7)

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