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Lenten Devotional: Friday, March 2
"Already and Not Yet" - Andover Newton's Lenten Devotional Series

"Already and Not Yet" is the 2018 Lenten Daily Devotional written by members of the Andover Newton community, which is also being shared at Facebook and on Twitter. Future posts here will include links to all the previous entries for easy browsing to any you might have missed or might want to revisit.

Friday, March 2, 2018
“In the Gap" – Melissa Lewis Heim

Standing in a place of “already and not yet” means to be in two places and one place at the same time. It means that we feel the gap between potential and full blossoming, recognizing the reality before the fruition. Lent is a time to live in that gap.

During my first labor, as the time of delivery came near, the nurse wheeled in the cart where our daughter would lie when she was born. All was prepared. Warm blankets. Little cap. Lights.

But our daughter wasn’t here – at least not yet. To my eyes, that cart was furniture from another world – a world I didn’t yet inhabit. I watched the nurse’s preparations with disbelief. True, my daughter was already here, in my womb, close to my heart beat, travelling with me each day. But she wasn’t here, in the hospital room, breathing on her own, her own self, apart from me. Already, and not yet.

I labored long and hard. I panted, grimaced, grunted, cried. I tired, longing for this baby to come.

In another room, a newborn’s cry burst out. A lucky mother had delivered her child. I fumed with irritation and dismay. “Let me hear my baby cry. When will she come? I’m so distant from that place of new life.” I felt the chasm between the neighboring room and my own. Not yet.

Lent can be that “not yet” time, full of the pains of labor.

Melissa Lewis Heim is Associate for Community Formation at Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School.

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