Meditation on ‘finding God in all things’ 02.15.23 (Thank you to Rabah Aburub for help with Arabic translation)
Residents digging through a collapsed building in a northwest Syrian town discovered a crying infant whose mother appears to have given birth to her while buried underneath the rubble from this week’s devastating earthquake… The newborn girl’s umbilical cord was still connected to her mother, Afraa Abu Hadiya, who was dead, they said. — AP
I wonder: did she know when her mother’s light flickered out there in the dark? Did she feel suddenly alone in some languageless way?
On Tuesday, Abu Hadiya and the girl’s father Abdullah Turki Mleihan, along with their four other children were laid to rest...
Given the name Aya (آية) by her rescuers, Arabic for “a sign from God.”
But a sign of what?
It feels impossible to dig through dusty rubble, piles of death, bloody remains of war and disaster, and somehow uncover the face of God.
No wonder she cried out in the cold, naked, buried in broken concrete, still attached to her dead mother. Who heard her in her distress and hunger?
Aya was born several hours before being found.
“Had she been left for an hour more, she would have died,” the doctor said.
Yes, we can say God is the hand of rescue, tirelessly
searching searching searching, tenderly reaching into any grave.
But maybe God is also the fearsome miracle of a woman’s body, asked
to hold so much, let go of so much, always so intimate with life and death.
Maybe God is the protective love of a father, fleeing with his family
from violence and terror, gathering up nine better years before the quake.
Maybe God is the cord, the last supper, the unseen nourishment
that holds us until at last we are found.
Maybe God, who knows something about waiting in the suffocating stench of tomb, was there, too, curled around Aya in the form of Mother,
singing soft as a faint pulse,
Hata fee hatha Elwaqt el saab.
You are blessed,
you are beloved,
you are mine,
even in this terrible darkness.