Smaller than a mustard seed

Response to Proper 22C
http://www.edgeofenclosure.org

My father taught me to do simple urine analysis at his hospital laboratory. Looking under the microscope one day I saw sperm swimming like pollywogs in the drop on the slide. I called to my Dad who said, “It’s not necessary to note this in this lab report.”

The sperm were tiny and not observable without the microscope.

Every person began as an infinitesimal ovum joined with an even tinier sperm; Gandhi, Paris Hilton, Hitler, Houdini. I marvel at my own grown children – differing from one another in appearance, temperament, talent, tastes, direction in life, ways of solving problems, humor. Yet, the eggs and sperm that generated their lives came from the same two sources – their father and me.

Sometime in May of 1950 my parents conceived me – a little red-headed girl born of their love and love-making. My own complexity generated from those early cells, blossoming into me, who I am, who I am becoming. My parents are dead, but even in middle age I’m still growing, thriving and contributing uniquely to the human endeavor, the planet’s life force, the universe adventure.

The Christian religious tradition celebrates the by-pass of this miracle for a lesser miracle. According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the conception of Jesus was exempt from human sex. But I say egg and sperm engaging is more miraculous than the Holy Spirit descending into the ear, or hovering over the womb. Word penetrating mind and heart and soul takes place whenever your pray. (Which may be the point of the story anyway.)

But the universe latent within an infinitesimal seed? Jesus said that’s all the amount of faith it takes to uproot a mulberry tree and plant it in the ocean, if you wanted to do that. That’s Jesus’ ageless humor showing. A trait he no doubt inherited with the miracle of conception.

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