Thursday, June 08, 2006

Out of Pain Hope is Born

Joan Brown Campbell tells this story:

When my youngest son—a medical doctor named Jim—was an intern and doing his obstetrical training he was assigned to a wise old Roman Catholic doctor who had had many years of experience.

As my son, came to the day when he was to deliver his first baby, the mature physician was at his side. The mother, surrounded by her husband, her mother and random family members, began the journey toward birthing a child.

As the pain deepened, Jim was in and out of her room many times. Finally, the wise old doctor said, "Jim, you're making her very nervous. Just sit quietly and listen to her. She'll tell you when she is ready."

Minutes went by and suddenly she called out for her husband. Jim jumped up. The doctor sat him down saying, "She's far from ready." A bit later she called out in audible pain for her mother. Again, Jim got to his feet, but again the teacher said, "Not yet. She'll tell you when she's ready."

Sure enough, in a bit, amidst the groaning and pushing she cried out, "Jesus! Mother Mary!" and the wise man at Jim's side said, "Now, son. Now she's ready." He said, "When the pain becomes unbearable, they inevitably cry out for the Deity by whatever name."

And out of the groaning and the pain comes new life, new possibilities. Hope is born anew and in many a birthing room the unspoken prayer is, "Thank God."

Source: Joan Brown Campbell, ‘All Are the Children of God’ 30 Good Minutes, Program # 4302, 10 October, 1999

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Image: Birth