I SUPPOSE that you are among the privileged women in the world, just as I am. What do I mean by this? Well, I imagine you have a roof over your head and food on your table, a place where you can feel at peace, a life filled with routines that you can carry out because you enjoy relative tranquility; 1 imagine that you systematically go to work; go to the store; go to school; celebrate birthday parties of loved ones; and go to church, where you find a certain degree of convenience in singing, praying, and meeting people. In short, I sup. pose that your world does not look at all like the harsh settings that you cannot see, but that many people experience and have experienced throughout history —settings like war, in which the routines of quiet life disappear radically.
While your life revolves around convenience (at least in relative terms), several armed conflicts are fought in the whole world, in which blood runs like rivers and thousands of women like you have terrible difficulties from day to day. War has always existed. There have been military conflicts that we still remember today—conflicts like the Second World War, which left more than seventy million people dead and is the most expensive war there has been; the Cold War, from which arose conflicts like the one in Vietnam, that cost thousands of lives; ancient wars, modern and contemporaneous wars that fill history books with their sad memories. In the meantime, what will we do with the peace we enjoy?
«How will I know I am in labor?’ asked a first-time mother.
«I assure you that you will know,» replied her friend, «not only by the symptoms that you will have, but because you will also have that feminine intuition that will tell you the time has arrived.»
A woman who is about to give birth generally goes through these four stages: the fetus drops, the mucus plug detaches, her waters break, and regular contractions begin. In the same way, we faithful followers of Christ will also go through several stages of history before the end comes—difficult stages, but Jesus will be with us. Even though we do not know when He will come, our intuition as Christians who study His Word shouts to us that the beginning of sorrows has already begun. Let us get ready.
«All these are the beginning of sorrows» (Matthew 24:8).