"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—" - Romans 5:12
Your working hard to preserve two lives. One seems that it will improve momentarily and it's possible to continue supporting her life. The other one, the one that is so little and needs so much because, well, it's just arrived and can't help itself, seems to be fading before your eyes. Yet, there is more help to give and the whole situation becomes joyful in just a moment. This would be the birth that you just assisted with. There were a few tention filled moments just after the baby came out, then all was well. Oh, what an amazing, incredible, miraculous event to witness time and time again. Life.
Now, continue on through your morning. You have patients coming back for their postnatal check ups. This is usually a time of joy as you check over the growing baby, support and encourage the new mother and sometimes the father. You laugh at some of the cultural traditions and sometimes have to lay down reality in the face of tradition passed on from generations that isn't really helpful for the life of the mother or baby. Such is life, but it's good.
This morning that baby check isn't the case. The mom contacted you the previous night to say that her baby was turning red and blue. You advise her for home monitoring and to come in as soon as possible or go directly to the hospital as you can only go with what she is texting you. She arrives early the next morning. You can hear the baby before you see him and know that something must be done immediately for his blocked, heavily congested airway. Deep suctioning is performed and you hurry away on a transport to the hospital. As if your heart wasn't heavy enough at watching this little life fail, it's about to get heavier.
What you find makes your heart break. In the very place where you have gone to seek help to sustain life you find apathy and death. You carry this precious, struggling little life in your arms only to walk by sickness that eats away at people's very life leaving them corpses of hopelessness.
That was my dear friend this morning. She is a midwife. Sometimes there are midwives who don't like hospitals, but in truth, there is a place for them and the care they offer. We have disagreements, just like every field of medicine (have you asked how a surgeon would deal with a situation versus a therapist? Ya, pretty different!), but we do rely on them in a healthy chain of giving the best care to patients. Unfortunately, what she was met with this morning was overwhelming. She was absolutely overcome with the severity of death, especially where it seems there should be healing.
My friend took her precious, gasping baby to the hospital and was overcome by the struggling, and occasionally lifeless bodies around her and the apparent lack of concern from the staff or even just available staff (please know, i'm sure that they care and are probably often overcome by the pure volume and the difficulties they have in trying to meet demand...imagine daily triage, so NO disrespect to them at all.)
The feeling that comes is utter helplessness and a reminder of the reality that this life is filled with death. Oh, sometimes we can see death as a sort of poetic doorway and be comforted that for those walking the path of Life it is only the beginning, but often there is nothing beautiful or poetic about it and it may be filled with hopelessness if they don't know He who gives Life. It's a hard path to walk when those who you have sought for further help aren't sufficient.
Praise the Lamb for the life He gives, oh share it freely! And, if you know people in the health care profession pray for them. Lift up their patients (even though you may not know them) to the Great Physician. Life is precious and not just this life here and now, but the life to come!