During the summer months I preached a series of messages on a few of the flashpoint topics of our day – suicide, gay marriage, cohabitation, alcohol and abortion. The evening of the abortion message one of my favorite CrossPointers, Sally Farris shared some stories with me about her volunteer position at Children’s Hospital. She has graciously written that account for us today.
I volunteer at a local hospital working as a nursery nanny in a Special Care Unit. My job is to rock babies whose families aren’t able to be with them; how cool is that? Ryan has been teaching us the truth about God and abortion, and how our culture has made abortion seem acceptable for reasons of convenience, health of the baby or mother, or the idea that has been promoted that before 28 weeks of gestation, ” it’s not really a baby yet, anyway.”
I will be honest I have been faced with babies for whom I can’t imagine a purpose here on earth.
I have held babies with severe neurological delays, heads far too large, or far too small, no arms OR legs, or worst, a two-year-old child which I will just say gently, had no recognizable face. On that day, early in my service, I will say I wasn’t brave enough to confront my natural repulsion.
Worse, are the children whose admission to the hospital is the result of abuse. Again, I will be gentle and only say they may recover from injuries or they may never function normally again.
Over the course of time, I’ve seen tiny responses, eyes following me and lop-sided smiles from children for whom that may be the only response of which they are capable. Who are we to judge what is enough?
Recently, though, I held a baby, just a week shy of four months old. He weighed 2.2 kilos, or 5.5 pounds. He was the surviving twin born at 27 weeks. As I held him, I looked at his soft hair, his tiny, perfect fingers and toes, complete with tinier finger and toe nails and a perfect little cleft in his chin. At the time, he was probably getting close to his original due date, but he had already been someone’s wiggly little boy for about 12 weeks. What if his birth had not been a premature birth, but a legal, safe and “rare” abortion? Would he have appeared as a “clump of fetal cells” or a child of God, who will bring a lifetime of love to a family?
I still do not know why God has allowed some handicapped or disfigured children to survive, but I can never believe it is any human’s choice, and I hope I can face my fears to hold a child that is not beautiful or perfect, knowing that every child deserves life, love and a chance to be hugged.
Thank you, Sally. Your stories are compelling. More importantly, your ministry is inspiring.