Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Keeping the Faith - Birthing Babies

ronniemcbrayer300 blackKENTUCKY (11/3/13) - Making my usual pastoral rounds at the local hospital some time ago, I witnessed the most unusual of circumstances. A dilapidated Buick had jumped the parking lot curb and had crash-landed in the flower garden just outside the main doors. The driver’s door was wide open, and a group of hurried and harried medical staff was doing something to someone in the driver’s seat.

My curiosity was far too strong, so I slipped out of the hospital lobby to get a closer look. To my astonishment, a baby was being delivered right there in the front floorboard of that car. Thank God I didn’t stumble upon this situation alone, for in the magnificent words of the late Butterfly McQueen, “I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies!”

All I could do was offer quiet prayers – for the laboring mother, for the new life struggling to be born, for the skilled and steady hands of the medical staff, and for myself – that I not pass out and create a secondary medical emergency. Within minutes the child, a boy, was born (more through the efforts of the mom, midwives, and nurses, not my prayers), and within days the two patients left the hospital in excellent health (in that same Buick, by the way).

Granted, this birth was not typical. Some mothers labor for hours. Some children enter the world only by surgical intervention. Some babies are born in a maternity ward, some at home, some with a cadre of attending physicians, and indeed, some are born in the most bizarre of environments. What they all have in common is this: When it comes to birth, every newborn needs all the help he or she can get, to ensure good health.

This, as I see it, should be the calling of the church. Congregations should provide safe, welcoming environments for faith to be born within people. Churches should strive to be delivery rooms where the new in faith can grow, be nurtured, and become the people God wants them to be.

There are many helpful images that define the church’s mission. It is a hospital providing healing to the sick and injured. It is a fuel station for those who are exhausted. It is a banquet hall of grace open to all who will feast at God’s table. But let us not forget our role as incubators of developing faith, skilled midwives who assist with spiritual birth.

And as it is with physical birth, spiritual birth is not an invariable experience. Some come to faith easy and early, like they can’t wait to get here, and all you have to do catch them. Others get wedged in the birth canal with philosophical, spiritual, and emotional sticking points. Others arrive in grand fashion, genuinely born again, but quickly lose their way.

There are the doubters, the skeptics, the seekers, the confused, the angry, the stuck, the ready, the breeched, the premature, and those needing intensive neonatal care. None of these are targets of our marketing efforts. These aren’t clients, customers, or converts. They aren’t potential new members, and definitely not those whose vulnerability and needs should be used against them. These are precious people on the road to some kind of spiritual birth. Our role is to simply help their personal, unique faith emerge.

In my own individual journey of faith, so many people have helped me, people with a soft touch but strong, steady hands. Few of these helpers ever lectured me, formally “discipled” me, twisted my arm, force-fed me Bible verses, or beat me over the head with the latest and greatest new book guaranteed to revolutionize my life.

No, recognizing that something new was struggling to be born, they were there to gently guide, encourage, support, and coach me. They dove right in – right where they found me – skilled midwives, who let me know that life and faith are worth their struggles. And when the pain of labor has passed, the anguish gives way to joy – for all – for faith has been born in the world.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Muhlenberg Job Corps Employee of the Month

MUHLENBERG, Ky. (4/18/14) — Miranda Hope is Student Counselor at the Muhlenberg Job Corps. She is a very dedicated and… Read More

Friends of Lake Malone Busy Hiding 1,500 Easter Eggs

DUNMOR, Ky. (4/18/14) — The Friends of Lake Malone State Park are hosting an Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 19, at the… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 19305

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 17, 2014 4278

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3145

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 3079

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 2782

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 17, 2014 4278

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3145

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2782

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1080

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
April 18, 2014 997

Talking Teen Trashed Telephone Pole,…

in Top Stories by MPD

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 15, 2014 1731

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1372

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 1042

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 16, 2014 848

New Home Health Care Opens in Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 15, 2014 785

OPD’s Annual 5K Run and Police Awareness…

in News by Owensboro Police Department

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 3079

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 2050

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1899

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1547

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 1179

South Carrollton Woman Injured in Head-on…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03