Posts tagged ‘combating poverty’

May 4, 2011

VOICE OF THE NATIONS – A Column by Karyn Alexander

Today, as I write in my Voice of the Nations column, it is someone’s birthday! It may be yours or someone you know. So I say, “Happy Birthday!”

Every year, when we are children, we stretch the truth about our age. Eight and a half years old, not just eight. Of course, as we pass the “over-the-hill,” forty-year mark, we all say we are twenty-nine again. It seems we are either looking forward to being older or wishing we were younger again.

This spring, I spent three solid days with women of different ages, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds to talk about birthdays. Not our birthdays, but strangers’ birthdays we have never met. How unusual. Never heard of it? We are all birth Doulas.

A Doula is a professional, loving woman who takes care of a woman in labor. Doulas have a common thread that knit us together. We all love to help moms have their babies. What better gift could we give our children on their day of birth than a person who creates an environment of peace and safety for their arrival?

The birth Doula is an encourager, a knowledgeable helper, and coach.

I am also another kind of Doula. I am a Spiritual Doula. I help people find God. The Rabbi, Jesus, tells us in the gospel of John, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.” There, you have it: birth.  How can that be? As a Doula, I help the mother bring the child into the tangible world. How can a person become born again? Once seems to be enough doesn’t it?

The same question was asked of the first century Rabbi at the time he spoke those words.  Jesus’ answer was this: “I tell you the truth; no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
Just like a natural birth, the intangible birth of spiritual awakening is just as real. It has been exciting and fun to be an encourager, knowledgeable helper and spiritual coach to many “babies!”

                                                   A Beautiful Delivery

I was at Winfield House when two little children I did not know seemed to just appear. They showed up at the back of the chapel. I found them alone, swinging on the playground. I was cleaning that day, not holding kids’ programs or counseling, but monitoring a man who was “doing time” at Winfield. This man was given community service for a minor legal infraction; so, not being a threat to me, I allowed him to fulfill his hours cleaning at the church.

I gathered some sidewalk chalk, coloring books, and crayons and went outside to greet the two children. I asked their names and asked where they were from. They were brother and sister, ages five and six, from just down the road. Amanda and Billy were eager to talk and wanted me to push them on the swings. They kept yelling, “Lady, lady, push us!” Instead of accommodating them with their wishes, I showed them how to pump and push themselves. They were happy I brought gifts for them, so they used the chalk and coloring books to occupy themselves.

After an hour or so, the kids came into Winfield and wanted snacks and drinks. I asked where their mother was, and I was told she did not live with them. They were now living with an aunt and other extended family members. They said they were hungry and had no food. Just then the aunt appeared. She told a tragic story of drugs, alcohol abuse, and now a destroyed family. I gave them all the food we had at Winfield, household supplies, and even furniture. The kids were sleeping on the floor and had no furniture in the house to speak of.

As the aunt and my helper carried the furniture and supplies to their house, I pulled Amanda and Billy aside.

It was Easter time so I asked them if they knew Jesus. They stared blankly in to my face and shook their heads saying, “No.”

 I asked again, “You have never heard of Jesus?” 

They again said no.

I asked if they had heard of Easter. Again, I received blank looks.

Surprised, I asked if they had at least heard of the Easter Bunny.

They both nodded their heads yes. Whew! You know, it’s all about the bunny.

So, I proceeded to tell them that all they received that day had come from God.

I told them God knew they would be at Winfield House that day and provided what they had needed. They were surprised. I told them the Easter story and asked if they would like to follow Jesus, who died on the cross for them and rose from the dead to ensure they would go heaven when it was time. They could be “born again,” not from their mother, but through Jesus gift on the cross and promise for heaven.

Billy immediately said yes. He said his grandpa was in heaven. Amanda shook her head to say no. I said that was okay. I asked Billy if I could pray with him and he eagerly agreed. We said a little prayer that assured he would be one of God’s children and made a commitment to follow God for his whole life. Ta da! Birth-easy and safe delivery!

As the day went on, the kids looked tired, so I suggested they go home for dinner. I again approached Amanda and asked if she wanted to become a child of God. She looked at me with a half smile, tipping her head to the side in a coy way and said, “I already did it outside in the parking lot.”
We hugged and laughed, as she apparently just needed a private moment.

I gave Amanda a bible to read. I told her that all the red letters were things Jesus himself said. She opened the Bible and immediately showed me a line written in red, “Let the little children come to me.” Jesus.  The gospel of Luke 18:16.

Remarkably, God showed her that she was now a child of His and that He and the bible were trustworthy.

It was Amanda and Billy’s spiritual birthday that day. They had been delivered into the family of God in a beautiful easy way.

The Bible tells us that all of the angels rejoice when just ONE person comes to God. What a celebration it must have been that day in heaven with two little children. It was the ultimate Birthday party.

If you haven’t had a spiritual birthday yet, it is a simple and worthy experience. Just tell God that you would like Him to lead your life, turn from your old ways, and then follow Him.

Let Him show you His way and all of heaven will rejoice on your Birthday, too!

Happy Birthday!

Karyn Alexander

Executive Director, Winfield House

KarynBAlexander@aol.com

Winfield House brings the good news of Jesus in a practical way, bringing God’s people hope.

Voice of the Nations: Rev. 5:9 “With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe, people, language, and nation.”

KarynBAlexander@aol.com