Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button coupons

Stock Report

1 DOW 18,030.21
+6.04 (0.03%)    
2 S&P 2,081.88
-0.29 (-0.01%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,773.47
+8.05 (0.17%)    
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 19, 2014 5769

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 19, 2014 5075

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 4621

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 18, 2014 4512

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 19, 2014 3866

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 19, 2014 3579

Vehicle Explodes into Flames on Pride Avenue

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
December 23, 2014 3484

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3015

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 22, 2014 2806

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 22, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 20, 2014 2728

KET’s Kentucky Life Segment to Feature Old…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

December 23, 2014 3484

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3015

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 2352

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 23, 2014 1993

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight
December 23, 2014 1789

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 23, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
December 22, 2014 1573

Construction Projects Suspended to Ease Holiday…

in Top News For All Sites by Lisa Tolliver
December 23, 2014 1417

UPDATE - KSP Issues 'Golden Alert' for Missing…

in General News For All Sites by Trooper Corey King
December 23, 2014 1366

'Santa Land Diaries' a Huge Hit at Palace

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 23, 2014 1271

Mustangs Drop Tournament Opener to Calloway County

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
December 23, 2014 1094

Strategies for Last-Minute Shoppers

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


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

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss