I read an interesting description of Advent this morning in Common Prayer. While describing Advent as a time of waiting and expectation, the author wrote that ‘we are the midwives of another world.’
That sent me into a quick Google search of what a midwife’s responsibilities are: educating the parents before labor, nurturing the mother in preparation for labor, assisting her during labor, and caring for the parents and the child after the child was born.
A midwife has their feet in the before, during and the after. Some of those stages are sanguine and reflective. Some are stressful and highly charged. And yet throughout, a midwife must remain consistent and always at the ready.
Days like yesterday seem like the stressful and highly charged times. Senseless death. Another pre-adult’s life ruined by a violent act. Many more traumatized for a lifetime. We wept. God wept. When will the new creation come?
Giving Tuesday was also yesterday. A time to pour resources of money and time into charities doing important work. Midwives, themselves.
We stand, firmly planted, in two worlds. Each promising new and exciting things. We cannot abandon one for the other. We must hold them both with great expectation. We cannot forsake our fellow earth traveler in lieu of mansions of gold. We must walk with them, feeling their deep pain when needed, keeping each other healthy and whole. And we cannot ignore our Heavenly Father’s directives for the enticement of momentary earthly gain.
A midwife exists in the in-between space, filling it with reassurance and direction and a calm confidence.
‘Will you let me be your servant,
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.
We are pilgrims on a journey,
We are trav’lers on the road;
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.’
– The Servant Song