A Midwife’s Nativity Story

In the spirit of this holy season of new birth, I am resharing a piece inspired by my pondering Mary giving birth through the eyes and testimony of her widwife.

It has been more than 20 years, but I will never forget that night.

How could we turn them away?  How could we not help?

They had been on such a long journey…

by foot, by donkey, in the sun and heat, sweating, scared, confused, flabbergasted…

and all while 9 months pregnant!!!!

We did not have much room–my beloved and I did find some space with the animals in a cave;

it was not the ideal space for a young couple to give birth but they were grateful to have a place that was warm and dry—

they even said the animals were welcome companions after such a long, lonely journey.

Her husband found me—unsure of what to do but determined to help his young wife.

She was only 15 years old, but reflected a bold sense of hope-filled and faithful determination.

She asked a lot of questions…

Will it hurt…how long will it take…how do I…when do I…???

Will we be good parents?  Will we stay here in Bethlehem?

Nazareth is our home, will we be welcome there?

Are parents ever prepared, I wonder.

She also asked about angels visiting, which was a little confusing to me.

I was present when she gave birth to her first child…

I wiped the sweat from her forehead…held her hand giving her encouraging squeezes…

I calmed the father to be, reminding him to breathe…

I was the first to hold him…the one to lay him in his mother’s arms…

watching how only a babies eyes, cry, and peaceful sleep can melt away

the exhaustion, fear, uncertainties, and hardship of a long journey and of the unknown journey yet to come.

Who knows what challenges await them!?!?

I made sure that our religious laws and customs were followed as best I could

given that it was the middle of the night and we were in a cave filled with animals.

The night the soldiers came,

I gave them food, water, and supplies for their exile into Egypt…will they make it safely?

Why are they taking the children…why is this happening?

I can still hear the cries from babies being taken away from their families…

of fear, despair, loss, terror.

But then the image of the young family’s spirit,

their determination to survive and to live into their vocations as a family…

the memory of being there the night hope was birthed into the world

helped bring wholeness to many shattered lives.

I was Miriam of Nazareth’s midwife.

I served YHWH by serving a poor, frightened Jewish family.

What path would this child take?  Only G-d knows.

Years later I heard stories of a traveling rabbi

preaching about radical hospitality and wondered…

With this little one came esperanza and possibilities.

My life and testimony, overlooked by history, was lived in the service of others—

being present at the births of children…present at the birth of fe, nueva vida, and familia.

Being included in scrolls and stories and documents did not stop me from doing what was right—will it stop you?

Blessed be.


delfin bautista is a member of the CTA 20/30 Leadership Team and the CTA National Board of Directors; delfin is also a member of Dignity’s Young Adult Caucus and is co-chair for Dignity’s Trans Caucus.  delfin currently serves as the Director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University.  delfin “preaches” on their own blog “Mi Lucha, Mi Pulpito” and  is a contributor to the Young Adult Catholic Blog and to Believe Out Loud.

This entry was posted in Spirituality, Women & Gender by delfinwaldemar. Bookmark the permalink.

About delfinwaldemar

Saludos! I am a native of Miami, FL and I am of Cuban and Salvadoran heritage. I am a social worker, person of spirit, activist, and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, gender, identity, race/ethnicity, liberation, and justice. I have a Master in Divinity as well as a Master of Social Work. I enjoy cooking, eating, laughing, writing, photography, eating more, “queerying” theology, and spending time with family and friends--especially my dearly beloved (while also driving him crazy). My approach to life is rooted in la lucha (the struggle)—lifting up our stories and experiences to inspire creative and authentic conversations and actions that thrive outside boxes transgressing dominant narratives. My hope is to create spaces that provide opportunities to wrestle, reconnect, remember, and and re-member the complex wholizing richness of sacred sass. Being raised roman catholic, I have been marginalized because of who I am and whom I love--my queerness bars me from being able to pursue ordination and so this blog is a space for me to share my journey of faith through homilies, pictures, liturgies, rants, queeries...my prayer is that this space become a pulpit and sanctuary, a new way of living into our call to radical holiness juntxs...a place where you, me, G-ddess will caminar juntos y juntas y juntxs en la lucha. Amen...que asi sea...si se puede!

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