Recently I was sharing with a Pastor the critical gift of one’s presence during a person’s time of adversity. I shared with him my clear memory of every person who showed up during times of trouble during the last 4 decades of my life. I can even remember the food people during the MANY funerals Ken and I were hosting. As I pondered this often neglected ministry by so many Christians in a BUSY world, this verse came to my mind:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”. – Proverbs 17:17
I spent some time looking more closely at this proverb and found several nuggets. The word “friend” actually means ‘part of the family’. We as Christians are part of a massive family with so many needs. God forbid we are too busy to be available when a friend, family member is facing a crisis. The verse states that a friend loves at all times; whether one’s friend is in a crisis or finally exiting the crisis.
Then I looked up the word adversity and found the word tightness and opponent. When a crisis arrives it crowds its way into one’s life and the trial feels like an opponent. As I considered a crisis an opponent, I immediately say the preceding phrase “born for”. Spiritual siblings are not just related they are “born” for the days of tightness and opposition. I looked at the verb “born” and found the word “midwife”. As I meditated on the reality that ‘a brother is the MIDWIFE for adversity’, I decided to look at the term “midwife”. We assume it refers to child birth and that is one definition but the second definition for “midwife” is: “one who assists in or takes part in bringing about a result”. The light came on as I realized that we as Christians have the privilege of assisting our siblings during their time of crisis. Each of us as a Spiritual Midwife can help “bring about the results that God intends”. The Spiritual Midwife’s presence during a time of crisis, gives the one facing the adversity the courage to continue and hope in God’s faithfulness.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ”. – Galatians 6:2
Love from a wildwoman and Spiritual Midwife,