So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
To gain an understanding of program implementation in the region, I visited clinics that serve poor and indigent populations. The storm from earlier in the week had knocked out the power. The dim overheated conditions made a tough environment more challenging for the medical staff. Through it all, I quickly learned that electricity had no relationship to the end of in-utero development. The situation also told me that the physical necessities for supporting life are far more basic than I previously understood.
Having the choice between viewing a Power Point presentation on the post education training for midwives or seeing its effects in action, I chose the more experiential activity. When I entered the 85 degree room, I noticed that my breakfast was still largely undigested as the culinary medley began trampolining towards my esophagus. That precise moment was filled with the second taste of my last meal, the scents of an unplanned delivery, the sounds of un-medicated labor, the sensation of rising body heat unaffected by natural cooling agents, and the sight of the miracle of life happening before me. When the sensory overload did not conquer my consciousness, I knew that lessons of a lifetime would imminently present themselves. I knew I had to pay vigilant attention or I might miss something.
Like a two year old at a three-ring circus, I didn’t know where to concentrate; on mom, the midwife, or the miracle? I originally chose mom. In my estimation, as someone laboring as hard as she was, my focus and attention should be directed towards her. Not knowing what else to do, I wiped the sweat off her forehead and held her hand. I began praying for her physical comfort, emotional peace, and spiritual well-being. A moment or two into my prayers, I felt overwhelmingly conflicted because I was not observing anything related to my reason for being there.
I immediately turned my attention to the midwife and her mentor. I could not make sense of the conversation they were having with mom. My translation of what they were saying was follow, follow; right, right. After a few seconds, I gave up and just watched what they were doing. They were in a perpetual state of talking, checking, and guiding mom; less to the end of labor but more to the commencement of life. Before I knew it, the crown of the baby’s head presented itself. Then her blue face, turned down and slightly to the right, immerged with her lifeline entangled around her neck. With cool composure, the midwife checked its tension and then rotated the baby girl out of the noose. Within seconds, she fully immerged and was placed on mom’s chest. Instantly, she began breathing while others in the room held their breath until she cried. As if startled by the rude awakening of the realities of the world, she yelled. As if released from the grips of anticipation, we sighed. And the celebration of the miracle of life began. Reflecting on the first two children ever born, I prayed that the baby would follow in the ways of Abel and bring forth her best to God.
Witnessing this event corroborated the fact that God’s creation is the practice that happens every moment of every day. Conversely, evolution is merely a man-made theory that never made it to the concept phase. I then praised Him as the Prince of Peace He is: “You are Lord of Lords. You are King of Kings. You are mighty God, Lord of everything. You’re Emmanuel. You’re the great “I AM”. You’re my Prince of Peace who is the Lamb. You’re the living God. You’re my saving grace. You will reign forever. You are Ancient of days. You are Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End. You’re my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer and friend. You’re my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You.” (Michael W. Smith – You Are Holy)
A little while later, I was off to the next clinic. Much like the first one, it was a 900 square foot building, sub-divided into a 12-bed recovery room, a two-bed delivery room, an examination room, and a small waiting area. No sooner than I walked in and was greeted by the hosts, the theory of midwifery again gave way to its practical application. Seemingly, God patiently waited for me to arrive to witness yet another miracle of life. Instead of asking Him what I missed the first time, I dawned another paper gown, walked into the dark room, and stood by mom’s side. This time, I began the experience with a spirit of thanksgiving and an energy of compassion. Having the only idol hand in the room, I held a flashlight to provide illumination. Within five minutes, a baby boy crowned, immerged, and cried. After two births in four hours, I felt like I was well on my way to serendipitously becoming a skilled birth attendant. After basking in the thought, my heart drifted into song, “I will sing to and worship the King who is worthy. I will love and adore Him and I will bow down before Him. And I will sing to and worship the King who is worthy; and I will love and adore Him and I will bow down before Him. You’re my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You.” (Michael W. Smith – You Are Holy)
As if writing it on the tablet of my mind for me to always have, with His unique cadence, He said, “There were several messages you missed. I know you were too caught up in all that was happening the first time to be able to take it all in. So here is what you overlooked:
- The needs of my people are great. Lend a helping hand whenever you can.
- You are personification of My light. Shine bright so that others may see Me.
- No matter how far out of your element you are, you always have something to give.
- There is always more to My plan than meets the eye.
- Don’t let your sight blind you. Sometimes your heart is how you see.
- Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater. (Luke 12:48 TLB)”
To watch the miracle of birth confirmed that God is the thought leader in life. We are merely students, given the responsibility to learn and teach that we are all His creation, made in His image, guided by His light, delivered through His grace, nurtured with His forgiveness, with an eternal seat in His kingdom.
The experience taught me that our destiny is directly related to God’s assurance that He is always with us and He hears us when we call. No matter how unsophisticated the child, how small the need, or how humble the provisions, it takes divine capacity to deliver the miracles that support life. I now know that with God,
- Serendipitous does not mean unplanned
- Unfamiliar does not mean foreign
- Bearing down does not instill fear
- Cutting the cord does not mean pushing away
- Crying does not mean anguish
- Simple does not mean primitive
- Cramped quarters does not mean uncomfortable
- Minor role does not mean negligible impact
13 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. 14 I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. 15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, when I was being skillfully woven in an underground workshop. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus. Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place. (Psalm 139:13-16)