Herod was a political prostitute. He commodified things that should never be sold. We do the same, sometimes, in different ways. We sell our opinions, our popularity, and our worth in order to get the things we think we want.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what an opposite sort of life might look like. If a “prostitute” (in this sense of the word) is someone who sells out, what alternative image might we use to help us envisage the way God designed life?
All of these work well, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the metaphor of a midwife. Maybe it’s because we have some friends who are professional midwives, or maybe it’s because midwifery is trendy right now…I’m not sure.
I confess I just like the image of someone who helps other people give birth.
It’s like we’re all pregnant with dreams and ambitions and possibilities, but we’re so often focused on giving birth to OUR dream or fulfilling OUR ambitions that we neglect the others around us.
Sometimes, as was the case with Herod, we become so concerned with OUR dreams we’re willing to give up what’s most precious in order to see them fulfilled.
Against, “prostitute” really is the right word.
But there’s another way to live. Instead of always focusing on what’s OURS, we could lend a hand to others.
A midwife takes care of others while they’re bringing new life into the world.
A midwife is invested in others’ success.
A midwife wants to provide an environment for others’ success.
A midwife is always a servant, never seeking to be served.
A midwife offers an alternative to abortions, solutions for barrenness, and expertise to avoid stillbirth.
And there’s never anything in it for them. The midwife gives their lives totally to others, whereas the prostitute lives totally for themselves. The midwife is rarely disappointed, whereas the prostitute is never satisfied.
And if all this seems too girly for you, then consider the same things could be said about drill sergeants, weight-spotters, or proctologists…it’s just that midwife is a little less weird.
Dr. David McDonald is the teaching pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, MI. The church, widely considered among the most innovative in America, has been featured on CNN.com and in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Time Magazine. David weaves deep theological truths with sharp social analysis and peculiar observations on pop culture. He lives in Jackson with his wife, Carmel, and their two kids. Follow him on twitter (@fossores) or online at fossores.com