Sunday, November 26, 2006

Welcome to my world

When I was working as a midwife, I could guarantee that the best way of starting off a day well would be when I could help a new baby be born safely into the world. Sometimes I would have been up for several hours before the birth actually took place. Sometimes it might have been a very difficult delivery. However, I truly believe that the most beautiful sound in the world is when a baby cries for the first time.

There were a number of occasions when a new baby did not breathe as soon as it was born. Sometimes it was hard work trying to encourage the infant to take its first breath. There was always a special moment when tiny lungs began to fill with air for the first time and a tiny chest began to move. Until then, everybody would be waiting anxiously. Often the mother would be lying watching and waiting to see if her baby would live. Then there was that special moment, that very special moment, when suddenly the silence of waiting was over and there was a cry, weak at first and then becoming stronger and stronger. The louder the baby cried, the happier the smiles of the mother and the midwives.

For me, as I left the labour ward and went in search of a well-earned cup of tea, it always seemed that the birds would be singing loudly and celebrating the safe arrival of a new baby. It was always as if the sun was shining more brightly and the world was celebrating the new life. It was as if the whole world were shouting out its welcome. For me, I always felt like dancing.

I believe that the safe birth of a baby is always a cause for rejoicing. A baby is a gift from God to its parents. A baby is an invitation from God to a husband and wife, asking them to share in his sacred work of Creation. God is love. He created the world and everything in and on the world as a sign of his love. Every baby, therefore, should be created out of the love of a husband and wife for each other. Every baby should be born into a family where it will find love, acceptance and understanding.

Some years ago I was talking to a young woman who had many serious problems in her life. She was finding it very difficult to cope and was severely depressed. As I listened to her, I discovered that her mother had tried to abort the girl, but had not succeeded. Knowing this had made such a serious impact in the girl’s life that she had never been able to find peace or happiness. Always in the back of her mind was the knowledge that her mother had tried to kill her before she was born.

God did not intend that anyone should be in this position. God created our world and welcomed us into his Creation. He made the world with us in mind. That is why Jesus instructed us to knock at the door of his heart because it would always be open to receive us. He told us to look for him and we would always find him. Every moment of every day, God is welcoming us into his world. He is inviting us to listen to him, to trust him and to love him.

Lord, you are my Creator and my God. You are so great and I am so small, and yet you love me. You created your world for my benefit. Every tree, flower, blade of grass, animal and bird was created for me to love and enjoy. Help me, Lord, to respect and love your world. Help me to treat it with the same tenderness that you show to me. Help me to preserve your world’s loveliness for those who will live after me. Thank you, Lord, for welcoming me to your world. Amen

God bless,
Sr. Janet