One of my favorite images is in the story of the twins; I beleive it was original told by Henri Nouwen. Many of you are familiar with it; if so, enjoy the imagery; it is everlasting, and I consider it a modern parable:
Once upon a time twins were conceived in the womb. Weeks passed and the babies grew. As their awareness grew, their joy increased. “Isn’t it fantastic that we have been conceived? Isn’t it wonderful to be alive?”
The twins began to explore their world.
When they discovered the umbilical cord that bound them to their mother and nourished then, they sang for joy. “What great love our mother has for us. She even shares her own life with us!” However, as the weeks grew into months, they suddenly noticed how they had changed.
“What does this mean?” one asked.
“It means that our stay in this world will soon end” the other replied.
“But I don’t want to leave”, the first retorted, “I would rather stay here forever.”
“We don’t have any choice” the other replied, “but maybe there is life after birth!”
“How could there be” the first asked, doubtfully. “We will lose our lifeline and how could we live without it? Besides, others left the womb before us, and no one has ever come back to tell us that there is life after birth. No, birth is the end!” So, one of them went into a state of deep anxiety, asking: “If conception ends in birth, what meaning has life in the womb? It is absurd. Maybe there is no mother behind all this.”
“But she must exist”, the other protested, “otherwise how could we have got in here? And how could we survive?”
“Did you ever see our mother?” asked the first. Maybe she only lives in our imagination. We invented her, because in this way we can better understand our life.”
And so the last days in the mother’s womb were filled with thousands of questions and a great fear. Finally, the moment of birth came.
When the twins left their mother’s womb, their world, they opened their eyes.
They cried out.
What they saw was beyond their greatest dreams.
One day, at last, we will be born.