A friend of mine recently gave birth to a baby girl a couple of months before the due date. Giving birth to a premature baby in Ukraine is not an easy endeavor. After a month of nerve-wracking stress of dealing with unexpected birth, idiotic bureaucracy at the hospitals, getting medicine almost illegally, they finally received good news. The baby is now breathing by herself, and finally the dad will be allowed to see his daughter (he wasn’t permitted to do it before due to some rules – which, as you can imagine, drove him nuts). Also, my friend told me, hopefully on Monday she will “move in” with the baby girl and stay there until they can all go home as a family.
While there, mom or dad and their daughter will spend time together in a special way – in russian they called it “kangaroo method.”
Kangaroo care seeks to provide restored closeness of the newborn with mother or father by placing the infant in direct skin-to-skin contact with one of them. This ensures physiological and psychological warmth and bonding. The kangaroo position provides ready access to nourishment. The parent’s stable body temperature helps to regulate the neonate’s temperature more smoothly than an incubator, and allows for readily accessible breastfeeding.
I am excited for my friends (she was the one I asked to pray for some time ago) and this “kangaroo method” was something new that I did not know before, so the thought stayed in my head.
Later in the evening, we had a prayer meeting and during that, our youth pastor asked who would like to be prayed for. I raised my hand. These past 6 months were tough. I am not saying that it was worse that what many people are going through, but in my life, I don’t think there was another period like this. Anyway… I raised my hand and since we were praying in the living room of our youth pastor’s house and I was sitting on a sleeping bag on the floor, everyone else surrounded me – some placed their hands on me, some just close – and they prayed for me.
It was awesome. (And I wasn’t the only one who felt it because two more people asked to be prayed for after they have felt this… This love, emanating from the family of friends.) As I sat there (my mind never shutting off), I suddenly could see it so perfectly…
The picture of God and I.
We always say that becoming a Christian is being born again. I have never thought twice of it (I mean, about the analogy itself, not its meaning), but having talked to my friend, I wondered…
What if becoming a Christian is like getting conceived? We all know that the first experience as a new believer is that of shalom and joy… Most of the time, we feel as if we are flying on the wings of an eagle – literally. The problems seem small, life is better, and we feel protected. That’s the time while we are “inside God” so to speak.
Then we are born. Born into this world and we start noting that while we are not of this world, we’re definitely in it. While it was created by God, it has been perverted by Satan to a point when you would have to pay attention to see what God intended this world to be. Sometimes we can’t breathe so we need air machine which He provides – the friends and family who support us… And sometimes, we just need to be there, in His strong yet tender arms, heartbeat-to-heartbeat, listening to His thoughts and words.
Of course, we grow up – and we should. Yet when we are in need, God’s “Kangaroo Care” is available – and we can come to Him, lean into His embrace, and just rest. Rest in the warmth of His love; rest in the stable heartbeat of His wisdom.
What do you think? Becoming a Christian – is that the process of being “born” or being “conceived”? (Physiological meaning of this, of course, is immaterial here…)