Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Birthday!


Did you ever have one of those conversations where someone says something that leaves you stumped for an answer, and then an hour, or maybe a day later the perfect reply pops into your head, only by now it's way too late to say it? That happened to me recently, only I'm a bit slower than most. I had my 'Eureka!' moment but the conversation took place seventeen years ago.

"Ah-ha!" I thought. "That's what I should have said!"

The conversation was with an Anglican Bishop in Brisbane. We were talking about internet predators and the presence of evil on the intertube. I was saying that there seemed to me to be a whole lot of activity on the 'evil' side, but no sign of God or his angels, and could the Bishop perhaps have a word?

"But," said the Bishop, with a professionally seraphic smile, "has it occurred to that God might already be there?"

I was stumped. It was such a bald statement of faith from someone with the right credentials to make it that I dried up. Couldn't say a word. There was something missing, I could tell, but what it was I couldn't put my finger on. Until two weeks ago. When the stunning reply came. (I may be slow, but I get there in the end)

"No. God wasn't in the internet from the beginning. It wasn't part of the whole omnipresence thing. God has a mechanism for things like the web. He works through localised centres of consciousness and spiritual grace. These are called people."

I was well chuffed, but it was probably too late to ring up and say "Ah-ha!" Besides which the acronym, L.C.O.C.A.S.G doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. So I tucked it away with all the other brilliant things I never said. Until I got an email from a friend which tells the story of two L.C.O.C.A.S.Gs/people. One is one of the finest men I've ever known, proving it's what you do that best shows what you are. The other is a young lady who really knows how to make an entrance.

Picture the scene:

South east Queensland, tropical deluge. Heavily gravid wife starts "pottering" at 2:30 am. "Do we need to take you to the hospital?" "Nah, I'm fine"

4:00 am. The rain is coming down, going back up twelve feet, then coming down again. "I'm a bit uncomfortable" "How often are you uncomfortable" "About once every 40 minutes. It's probably on today. Hours to go, though."

5:00 am. The rain is letting up so that more, heavier rain can come. The sky is lightening. "No worries, devoted husband - we'll get the boy to before- school-care and keep going on to the hospital. Laughing"

6:05 am. Rain is down to a Queensland drizzle (high chance of drowning). "It's uncomfortable every half hour or so, for about ten seconds" "OK, everyone in the car"

6:10 am. Rain eases. "Uncomfortable" suddenly goes from every 30 minutes to every three minutes. "Uncomfortable" seems be becoming "Quite Uncomfortable".

6:11 am. Brisbane northside traffic goes into total gridlock. Dutiful husband's eyes widen, ever so slightly. Driving becomes a tad assertive. Boy is told we're going straight to hospital - he's got the day off school. Happy lad returns to playing portable game console.

7:30 am. Rain is now blatter. What should have been a 35 minute off-peak/50 minute peak car trip to the hospital is now well over the hour mark and dead slow. Second alarmed phone call is made to maternity ward. "Quite uncomfortable" has become "Ohmypherkingod", and is occurring at a rate that would scare a thrash drummer on ephedrine.

7:36 am. Car suddenly veers out of line of line of traffic to the side of Jubilee Terrace, Red Hill. Dutiful husband leaps from vehicle and goes to passenger side. A remote midwife barks very useful instructions out of the mobile phone.

7:38 am. Bellowing wife and dutiful husband bring Emiliana Catherine into the world. (Huzzah!)

7:41 am. Dutiful husband ties off umbilicus with a shoe lace.

7:48 am. Ambulance that had been despatched by hospital arrives at the side of Jubilee Terrace (it had been caught in traffic, too).
Mother and daughter doing beautifully. Father (having been treated like a minor god in the maternity ward) now at home and eyeing the vodka bottle in a remorseless fashion.

Does anybody know a good car detailer?


PS: Congratulations Mum!


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