It’s hard to measure a lot of things. How do you measure love or pain or silliness or the power of a smile or the strength of friendship? Not easily, I can tell you.

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It’s like this with births and beginnings, too. How do you measure such things?

The birth of the world. The birth of an idea. The birth of a child.

A few days ago a friend brought her new baby home. A baby much longed for, much prayed for, long waited for. I’m thinking it’s hard to identify exactly when her precious baby was begun. The first hopeful tear? The first prayer? The blue line? The first labour pain? The push, or the catch, or the latch?

Beginnings are like that. They are eternal, an unknowable moment stretched into a story, and conception and pregnancy and delivery are a part but they are not the whole.

This season of Advent, this pregnant season of hope and hush, is part of the story, too. But it is not the whole. The story is eternal, and who can say when the beginning began, really?

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