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We see photos on Facebook of young mothers, with or without makeup, with perspiration-frazzled hair, holding a red, swaddled newborn. The new mom smiles. Proud hubby hovers. Grandparents flash cameras and send out announcements on cell phones.

I’ve experienced this first-hand. 24 months ago I was present as my daughter gave birth. Her pregnancy had complications, the doctor was concerned for safety of both mother and child; but finally a healthy baby made her entrance; and oh, what joy and thankfulness we felt.

What could be more awe-inspiring than the birth of a new life? Nothing compares to the expectancy, intensity, and thrill of witnessing a baby enter this world with wiggles and cries. You can almost hear the flutter of angel wings and the melody of heavenly bells ringing as the Creator gives breath to a new little person full of promise. When the child is desired and welcomed with love, the birthing room almost becomes a holy sanctuary.

As I stood by during my daughter’s labor, feeling helpless—then as I helped during delivery by holding one of my daughter’s knees—I was breathing prayers and praises. My daughter was too absorbed in breathing and pushing to do much praying herself.

But since she started carrying this child—when she had chosen not to accept the doctor’s offer of “terminating the risky pregnancy”—she had been putting her hope and trust in God’s help. During those nine months we watched a tumor shrink enough to allow room for the baby to grow; then it moved out of the way to allow the baby to enter the birth canal.

Awareness of the Lord’s presence and help bonded our little family group. We appreciated the clinical efficiency of the attending physician, interns and nurses. I couldn’t help thinking, though, how wonderful it would be if everyone in the room was a believer and open about their faith and dependence on the Lord. I’d like to have soft, beautiful worship music playing, someone gently reciting a Psalm, all participants aware of, and responsive to, the Lord’s presence; bathing the process in prayer; welcoming the child with praise and thanks to her Creator.

That would be heavenly. “Heavenly” is probably not how anyone would describe a hospital room. But God was present and He showed Himself mighty and loving. The medical personnel—whether Christian believers or not—were used of God as He answered prayer and gave us a beautiful, healthy baby.

~Catherine Lawton