A little over a year ago, I traveled to India with a worship team to work in Mumbai, Hyderabad and a smaller city called Vijayawada. We had more than our share of incredible opportunities in just a week and a half’s time, but the other day, I was reminded of one particular memory from our stay in the country that kept a little piece of my heart…
For several nights in a row, our team led worship at an event called the Great Gathering–a space where Indian men, women and children came together to worship, pray and hear a message from Scripture. Each evening the crowd grew larger, by the last night reaching over 50,000 in an area the size of several football fields. At the end of every service, we would move down into the crowd and offer prayer for those who wanted to receive it. And every night, the prayer requests were beautiful, the lines longer as people sought blessings from our small, unassuming team. I began to notice a trend among the people who would line up in front of me. Each time, there were dozens of small children and women with pregnant bellies or newborn babies, always requesting prayers for health, safety and covering for their young or unborn children. They wanted me to lay hands on their bellies as I prayed, and often, I’d feel a small kick or a little nudge as my translator communicated my prayer to the women and their families. I remember feeling so humbled that these women wanted me to pray for them–and not only that, but to have my hands on such a personal space, feeling the movement of their precious babies inside.
At that time, not quite fifteen months ago, I was in awe of these women; resilient, steadfast and strong, each mother wanted the very best for her family spiritually, no matter how much or how little she could physically provide for them. And today, nearing my own due date with my own belly quite full of baby, I finally understand how sincerely and selflessly each mother in India desired blessing and protection for the new life growing within.
The closer I get to the day I’ll set eyes on our little one for the first time, the more I’m in awe of the miracles of creation and pregnancy and birth. And no matter my current life circumstance, I am no different than any other mother, anywhere else in the world, who wants the very best of everything for her child. As I admire the movement in my belly tonight, I am reminded of the incredible women I met halfway around the world–their own bellies full with child and their hearts brimming with hope and expectation for what was to come.