Your Mother's Expecting

“Your Mother’s Expecting”

My wife got us into foster parenting—we had nine babies altogether, one at a time. There was a Friday when social services was going to bring us a new one. But the same day we had a book club meeting in the rectory. As one of the women in the book club—she was often mistaken for a teenager, she looked half her age—was getting out of her car, a stranger rushed to her. She spoke quickly and breathlessly.

She said: “Your mother’s expecting a baby and I’m late!”

You can imagine the confusion. 


It’s an old way of thinking about waiting: to be waiting is to be “expecting.” I think a pregnant woman has a privileged perspective on all the waiting, in all its different kinds, that we do in this life. We wait for lights to change, for spring to come, for graduation, for retirement; some people even wait for the next election. For all of us, our waiting is bundled in layers of expectation. 

But pregnancy is a waiting for a pang to come, for pains, for that irrefusable summons to stop everything else and bear down on giving birth. It shows us, I think, what’s deeply involved in all our waiting. Ultimately, the world itself awaits the revelation of the universal kingship of Christ, an event that will be like birth pains again, a transformation of this world so dramatic that Saint John the Divine is nearly speechless at the end of his Revelation.


Might it work for a Christmas pageant? The tableau is set, all the players are in place—except the angel Gabriel. Breathless. he runs onto the stage and blurts out: “Your mother’s expecting and I’m late!”

If you try it out, I’d like to know how it goes.


On the Web: I have a short Christmas meditation that wonders over every child being a perfect child—just posted at the Human Life Review:

Out & About in 2023: Holy Trinity Church in Garland is having a study during the Epiphany season on my little book A Post-Covid Catechesis. The study will be on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., with the first session on January 11. I will be with them that evening and visitors are welcome. We will be discussing the first chapter that evening.

There’s more on “post-pandemic catechesis” on the diocesan website:

Monthly book seminars in 2023 will be on the third Sunday of the month from January through May. These are held at Incarnation in Dallas, beginning at 5 p.m.; they run for 90 minutes; anyone who has read the book is welcome to participate (and others are welcome to listen). The books are:

January 15: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

February 19: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

March 19: The Strangeness of the Good, by James Matthew Wilson

April 16: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

May 21: War in Heaven by Charles Williams

—More about The Moviegoer: This award-winning novel, published in 1961, established Percy as a Southern Catholic writer to be reckoned with. Binx Bolling, age 30, adrift, dallies with secretaries and goes to movies. “But one fateful Mardi Gras, Binx embarks on a quest—a harebrained search for authenticity.” Outrage and danger follow, as the quest “sends him reeling through the gaudy chaos of the French Quarter” of New Orleans.

Ethics class at the Stanton Center. I teach a five-session course on Christian Ethics, meeting in Dallas on third Saturdays starting January 21, at 9 a.m. If you are interested, contact Erica Lasenyik: .


My next blog will come in 2023. In the meantime, happy reading to all, and merry Christmas.

A Walk in Advent

Another day of clouds, as if Anglican weather had settled in over Dallas for good. Those tasked with reading the tea leaves of radar said rain was coming after midday. So if I was going to walk, this was the time.

The trail was full of lightly clad runners, as if this were still September. Smoke hovered around the barbeque place. A sign announced a future playground. I saw some things I had not noticed before—others were familiar as an old shoe. When you walk you see temporal layers: the old, the novel, the familiar, the first-noticed. 

Down near the bus terminal was a mixture of life: some encampments, some children playing. A self-storage unit brought to mind the Prairie Home Companion gag: that this is a place you go to store yourself. “We’ll come get you at Easter,” the cheery voice says as the door clangs and the lock turns. 

Then the old red building, out-of-time. Nearby a plaque says that the president was killed by bullets shot from that building. The concrete hollow cube monument hovers, topless, a bit above the ground, with slender openings on two sides, and in the middle, the flat polished square with his name, nothing more. Sometimes it moves me to walk in there. Is it hope, as the plaque wants to say it is? Or is it something vanished, something gone?

East on Main Street, on one corner loudspeakers producing loud music, living up to their name. A later corner had silent evangelists standing near their books. Under another interstate were evidences of past encampments. And then the coffee shop appeared. Beside me a man was explaining what his recording equipment could do for a younger woman.

The bookstore was open. They stock books in English that they publish themselves, and invite customers to come in and touch any books they want. One table held books in English translation, including contemporary novels about post-Soviet Russia.

The hospital is still there, as is the park. It had a row of sponsored Christmas trees in competition: which one is best decorated? One of them had arms coming out of its sides.

And then home, just before thunder announced the rain.


Take a walk this week, and look, and think. And pray. This is the world he came into. What does he see? What strange love made him come!


12345678910 ... 142143

The Rev. Canon Victor Lee Austin. Ph.D., is the Theologian-in-Residence for the diocese and is the author of several books including, "Friendship: The Heart of Being Human" and "A Post-Covid Catechesis.: