All God's Children

When I was in my early teens the grandmother of a good friend told me that it would have been better if I had never been born. She explained her opinion by saying that my birth had been too hard on my mother. Since I came so fast that I was almost born in a taxicab, I knew that the actual birth wasn't the issue. And I wasn't a bad kid. So I assume that raising a baby when you are past forty was what she was referring to.

It's all, as they say, "water under the bridge." But I guess the recent discussion about post-birth abortions ("infanticide" to most of us) was what got me thinking about that long ago incident with my friend's grandmother. The "logic" to post-birth abortions is that if a baby is deemed to present a hardship to the family, its death is therefore justifiable. I'm sure glad my mother and father didn't consider me a hardship, and therefore disposable, because I came late in their lives!

Sadly, recent news about the Planned Parenthood scandals, the move to consider post-birth "abortions," and Health Canada's approval of the RU-486 drug, has not raised as much ire as the hunting down of Cecil the lion by an American dentist! As much as I object to the death of the lion (I think the hunter should be fed to Cecil's family!) we need to focus on an even bigger issue—there is something wrong with a society that has no problem with murdering kids. The critical question is, who gave us the right to destroy what doesn't belong to us?

God told Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). Think about that for a moment. It is God who brings the pieces together to form a child in a woman's womb. But even before He does that He already knows all about that child. Before that child is born God has designed a purpose for his or her life. David writes: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13-16).

Though a woman is the host of that child, she is not the creator of that child. She is not its origin. God is. And to God alone belongs the right to determine the future of what He has created.

Back in the beginning, God assigned the care of His creation to two people, the only two people there were at the time (Genesis 2:15). Though children are not specifically mentioned as part of that creation (there were none at that moment), we can assume that when He told Adam and Eve that they were to care for His creation, He meant ALL of what He had created and would yet create.

We've done a very poor job of it—and unhappily that includes what we have done to our children. I would like to say, "God have mercy on us" but I suspect that He will have as much mercy on us as we have on our children.


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