There is a lovely Bible passage…
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13, NIV translation

When I visualize myself being formed in the womb, it is nothing at all like textbook pictures of developing fetuses. I imagine angels, forming me, shaping me…knitting and dropping a few stitches, perhaps; or tenderly patting a smooth ball of bread dough back and forth between angel hands, then letting me bake just a tad too long (I was, after all, born four days late); or maybe more like miswiring my brain’s computer. Perhaps ingredients- amino acids?- were being poured into flasks above bunsen burners, and one was mismeasured or even forgotten entirely. I’m not sure. I just don’t really believe explanations like “At week 12, fingernails and toenails appear.” That is not how babies are made. They are carefully created by angels.

At any rate, when the angels were forming me- maybe they were newbies, or just regular ones having a bad day- something went wrong: something that couldn’t be covered up, hidden, or fixed. Not anything so very terrible or incompatible with life, just something that…well, the angels looked at each other and said, “Uh oh.” And they were not quite sure what to do.

They couldn’t fix me, but they decided to let me live. And I got a priceless consolation prize: extra angelic protection. It’s hard to explain. It is not something that I can really feel (usually; although once I did feel- literally, feel– a hand push me gently forward when I was about to fall backwards down a flight of stairs; I was “alone” at that time), but something that when I look back at how many “almosts” could have happened to me, it is obvious and unmistakable. It is just something that I know.

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