The following thoughts on life were shared with us by a physician. Through both his professional and his personal life, he has a unique view of life.
In a day where we talk much about lives mattering, his words should shake us to our core. Do ALL lives truly matter to us?
Much has been made of late about which lives matter. Some say black lives matter and that is true. Some say white lives matter and that is true as well. Others have said blue lives matter or all lives matter and these are all true as well. Why these questions, why our searching and why now? Who are we, why are we and does it really matter? Not only politically or for social purposes but also for existential purposes; in our souls we are longing, we are asking what and why is Life? What lives matter and why; and the corollary question, “Do all lives matter or not?” Do some lives matter more because of their color, wealth, status or contribution or convenience to others or are all lives of equal great value like our bill of rights says? These questions are being asked and should be asked. The answers to the questions will shape our values and our future.
These questions came more into focus more than ever before when a little lady came into my life June 5th, 2016. Our daughter-in-law was having an uneventful first -time pregnancy and everything was going well as she approached her due date. Literally on that due date, as if an alarm had been set by God Himself, my daughter-in-law woke up sensing something was different. The baby was still moving but her motion was different, not the same as it had been. That morning she and our son met at the hospital and the doctors and nurses quickly determined based on the fetal heart tracing that she needed a C-section immediately. The medical team and obstetrician flew into action. When our granddaughter was born she was perfect in every way, but was white as a ghost. Her hemoglobin was a mere 4gm (a normal for newborns of 12-14gm). She needed blood fast to correct this deficiency. We all prayed and cried as a family as our long-awaited first grandchild and niece for was now in real danger. The baby received her critical blood transfusion of two units that night. Later, when things had quieted down, I had a chance to see her for the first time and to look into her Vaseline-moistened, blinking eyes and hold her tiny fingers amidst all of the lines and tubes she had to keep her comfortable and her little life stable.
Which Lives Matter and Why?
In that moment, I was reminded again that every life without exception matters to God and that right then (and always) Nora’s life mattered to God. But very importantly not just Nora; so did every other little one in that NICU, or that hospital or in our city or country or even on this entire planet. This wasn’t just true for babies from white families or black or Hispanic families, wealthy or poor families, refugee or citizen, intact or broken families; not just from suburbia or from the inner city, families of every nation or people group, male or female babies. Each and every one of these tiny, vulnerable lives matter deeply and uniquely to God their Creator. Why do we have value as humans? Because that value does not originate or emanate from us, neither is it given to us by others, our culture or government. Our value comes from God Himself. Our value is conferred to us from our loving creator God. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Or as He said in Matthew 10:29-30, not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father in heaven knowing it and even the very hairs on our heads are numbered. The old hymn sums it up this way, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He’s watching me” – with eyes of love and concern.
As I drove home from the NICU that night, my heart was deeply moved – broken if you will – as I realized and spoke out my thoughts aloud. “My Sweet Granddaughter, I never knew you until a few short hours ago and now I cannot imagine life without you”.
Sadly, this is not always a story with such a happy ending. Babies can be lost from obstetric catastrophes like abruption or bleeds (like my granddaughter), infection, maternal deprivation or starvation, malformations or other conditions incompatible with life. Even more sadly, some perfectly healthy babies, are not born at all or not saved from danger but torn from their safe haven in their mother’s uterus by an adult skilled at the dark art of abortion.
Despite what some would have us think, abortion is neither “safe” nor “rare” – to borrow a phrase from previous politicians.
Abortion is uniformly fatal for one of the patients and injurious if not physically, then mentally and emotionally for the other.
As it has been said by others, abortion leaves one dead and one wounded. It is also not true to say abortion in the USA is rare, where approximately 1.1 million abortions are performed each year; nearly 100,000/ month or over 3,000/day. On an annual basis, this is nearly the population of Dallas,Texas and more than San Jose, and San Francisco, CA, Indianapolis IN, Charlotte, NC or Boston, MA (from 2012 census data) each year.
It is important to say clearly that these babies are nearly always perfectly formed little people. We are not simply talking about non-discreet tissues masses; but rather completely perfectly formed little ones living safely, comfortably but completely dependently inside their mother’s uterus until they are not. These tragic and deeply disturbing facts unfortunately I know well first hand.
If you are considering an abortion, please know that you will find no judgment here. You will only find compassion, understanding and friendship. We want to help you make a decision that is one you can truly live with for the rest of your life. We want you to have facts and information.
And then the choice is yours.
No matter what that choice, we will support you and love you.