Recently, a newly baptized member of one of our church groups gave birth. I was a little anxious about what the family would do. In our culture, there is a specific spiritual ceremony that is supposed to be done before the mother is allowed to see her baby. When a lady gives birth, the midwife usually blindfolds her so she won’t look at her child until the ceremony is performed by an old man from her family. This practice is very important in our culture, and even Christians often don’t dare oppose it. We had not specifically addressed this topic in our baptismal studies, and I was wondering if the lady would stand firm in her faith.
When we learned that she was ready to give birth, several church members and I went to the hospital. After praying for a safe delivery, we returned home.
In our culture, men are not allowed in the maternity ward, so her husband, also a newly baptized member, was waiting outside. After the midwife told him that his wife was delivering, she added, “What are you waiting for? Go get the old man!” Still weak in his faith, he went to do as he had been told.
However, in the meantime, his wife was not going along so easily. She refused to be blindfolded and asked to see her baby. The superstitious midwife warned her of terrible consequences, but she replied, “I serve a strong God. He gave me this baby. He is the Creator, and this is His child. I want to see my baby!” Finally the midwife gave in and brought her the baby.
Interestingly, when the husband arrived at the old man’s home to fetch him, the family refused. They said to the young father, “You turned your back on us and our traditions when you were baptized. Now you take care of this child and see what will happen!” He returned to the hospital confused and unsure what to do, expecting to find his wife blindfolded and waiting. But there she was, gazing lovingly at the baby in her arms.
I praise God for freeing this lady from all fear and for giving her such a strong faith. Her living testimony will be an encouragement to many ladies in our church and in our community.