On Friday, October 28, 2016, I had the privilege of emceeing the 2016 New Life Family Services Silent Auction and Fundraising Gala. New Life and Oakdale Wesleyan have been partners investing in the lives of people for more than twenty years. Personally, I appreciate New Life’s commitment to care for a person’s whole life: physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. An excerpt of what I shared follows.
I’ve been given the opportunity to share just a little bit about my own experience with New Life. Part of my story is written in tonight’s program, and you can read that on your own, so instead. I would like to tell you about the birth of my daughter. At 11 pm at night, my wife told me her water broke. We went to the hospital and the OBGYN told me the projected order of events, which ended with him saying “after the baby is delivered, you cut the cord.” I quickly replied, “You are the doctor. You will cut the cord.” The doctor asked, “Are you sure?” and I said, “Yes.” I didn’t want to do anything that might hurt or kill my daughter, so I would let the trained medical professional take care of all the medical procedures, no matter how minor.
Twenty-six hours of labor later, my strong wife finally delivered our daughter, Sophia. The doctor held my daughter, clamped the umbilical cord, and prepared to cut. At that moment I stopped him and said, “I want to cut the cord.” He again asked me, “Are you sure?” and I said, “Yes.” In that moment I realized that after 1 ½ years of trying to get pregnant, 9 months of pregnancy, and now 26 hours of labor, I didn’t merely want to keep my daughter from dying; I was invested in her living, so I cut the cord.
John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Expected Savior, or do we look for someone else?” Jesus didn’t answer, “Tell John, I haven’t killed anyone,” even though he hadn’t. Neither did Jesus answer, “Tell John, I let children come to me,” even though Jesus did that. Jesus said to them, “Tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the poor have good news preached to them, and the dead are raised.” Jesus invests in life.
When I check in a woman for her appointment at First Care, I’m investing in her life. When I meet with a young man who thinks his girlfriend might be pregnant, I’m investing in his life. When I meet with a father who has come in to see the ultra sound, I’m investing in life. When I teach a parenting class to couples, whether we are talking potty training or sharing the gospel, I am investing in life. When my congregation individually or corporately partners with New Life, we are investing in life. Every time a client allows me to pray with them, I walk as Christ walked, not merely preventing death, but investing in life. That’s my story; you individually and as churches have one also.