New life

As I write this, I am sitting in an airport waiting to go and meet my newest grandson. We understand, without thinking about it, why it’s worth turning life upside down to spend time with a baby who can’t even smile yet. There is something so precious about being in the presence of a new life and sharing the joy of the family that is welcoming him. I’ll also see another grandson, born last Autumn, who now smiles and interacts. In him, it will be powerful to see, not new life, but new stages of life.

As I travel, our garden is also starting to come to life. A few snowdrops are out and other bulbs are pushing up through the ground and coming into bud. After a largely dormant Winter, there is something evocative about these new signs of life, with their promise of the abundance of summer to come.

I say new life, but my little grandson has been growing for months before his birth and the garden bulbs that are budding, have been working on their roots all Winter. Now we are seeing the visible manifestations of the secret work the Lord has been carrying out. And it is so with all of our lives.

We marvel at every Springtime and with every new life, but if we could see things as they really are, we would realise that every moment is, in point of fact, an act of creation. With this in mind we can observe, with the same wonder that Spring life and a new baby brings, the fresh creation happening in our ‘ordinary’ lives. The Lord says, “to keep something in being is to go on bringing it into being, everlastingly so, and to preserve it is to go on creating it, everlastingly so.” (Arcana Caelestia 9502) The Lord is constantly creating us anew. Just the fact that we are alive from moment to moment is because the Lord’s love is constant in recreating us.

The Lord’s life preserves us from moment to moment. But He does not merely want us to continue to exist as we have, just as He does not want my grandson to remain a little baby or the bulbs I planted last year to stay as single bulbs. His life force is working to make them grow and develop.

I wonder, if we could have a conversation with the angels looking within us, at our spirits, what they would say about the new life they see being created and also about our potential for even greater things. I don’t know about you, but I think of my life as mostly the same, with incremental development - mostly static, with a bit of dynamic movement. But this idea of new life being created every moment, gives the lie to this way of thinking. All of our lives are teeming with new creation and the deeper we look, the more we can see this to be the case.

I know of a man who was watching his wife die after a long illness. Her body had wasted away to almost nothing. As her spirit was fading, he said, “She is so beautiful!” He was seeing something that we don’t see with our natural eyes. He was seeing the abundant life and spirit within his wife’s fading body. He was seeing the perpetual creation of her spirit that was, to him, more real than the wrinkled skin and thinning hair.

The Lord said, “Behold I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) We often speak of these words in the context of the New Church and the new revelation that makes the church possible. But I invite you to think about how the Lord is creating new life and new possibilities in you.

Unless I reach a record-breaking lifespan, I’m on the shady side of my time on this planet. External experience tells me life is slowing down and becoming less vibrant, but that is not the reality. Every single moment new creation continues unceasingly, if only I turn to the Lord.