Young Pregnant Travelers
‘Tis the season when young pregnant mothers must leave home to give birth.
Mary and Joseph have a long dangerous trip south, walking from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Will they find a warm place and will they arrive safe before the baby comes? Can Mary and the baby survive the birth and then the journey home, with a forced detour to Egypt? What dangers lurk on these long roads?
Pregnant California grey whales also head south this time of year, likewise in search of a warm safe birth place. Another dangerous long pregnant trip, swimming day and night, eating very little, from Alaska to Mexico, a tiring journey, past hungry orcas and entangling old fishing nets. They left their Bering Sea summer feeding grounds in September, and this past week we saw the first ones passing Monterey Bay and off Pt. Lobos. Will they get to the warm safe lagoons of Baja before their babies come? In the days of commercial whaling, the ships, like robbers on a Galilean road, waited for the pregnant moms’ predictable arrival and the lagoons turned red with blood. Might those days return? And will the whales make it safe back north in the spring past the nets and orcas?
Pregnancy and birth are a dangerous journey even if you stay home. Many of us mothers recall the scary unknowns of pregnancy, the middle of the night labor. Mercifully most of our stories don’t approach the forced marches of Mary and Joseph or the 12,000 mile round trip of the grey whales.
Elizabeth Hambrick-Stowe wrote a great book called Expecting, about pregnancy and faith. She says, “We Christians are a pregnant people.” We experience God at work in us, calling us to bring new life to the world. In this season of travel and new birth I hope we all arrive warm and safe, delivering new hope to the world.
May we, like the baby in Mary’s womb, and this grey whale, leap for joy.
These weekly Blue Theology postings celebrate spirituality and the sea. At our church in Pacific Grove, CA we host Blue Theology youth mission trips and adult retreats on ocean spirituality and stewardship. bluetheology.com I post these "Tide-ings" Wednesdays here and on Facebook.