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Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

Norris, Kathleen | Riverhead, 1998


p. 285

People think a mystic is someone ‘whose head is in the clouds and who can’t get places on time.’ Not necessarily. This is a person who experiences the presence of God–and sometimes through others, often through others. ‘A first-time mother or father, for example, engaged in giving their baby a bath, will suddenly realize that this is about more than getting an infant clean. Time may feel suspended; the light in the room, the splashing water, the infant’s cooing with delight, the skin-on-skin feel of loving touch–all of it might come together so powerfully that the parent inhabits in a more complete way this new and scary identity as ‘parent.’ And at this moment it is pure joy.’ If we are functioning as designed, we love our children, and have deep empathy with them. ‘To quote a line of Meridel Le Seuer–‘No woman gives birth to an enemy face.’”