Last night, Emily and I were sitting on the couch, talking about our youngest child. We often comment that he’s just too cute for his own good. He’s got a big laugh. He’s got a big personality. He’s kind of a jerk at times, but he’s still learning how to people, so we’re trying to cut him some slack.
Earlier in the evening, we were cuddling our middle daughter while she was crying through part of Lilo and Stitch and desperately wanted us to turn it off (her siblings protested as they really enjoyed it). By the end, she was fine, though. This little girl is one who feels very deeply. About what? Everything. When she’s happy, she’s happy. When she’s angry, she’s angry. When she’s sad… well, you get the idea.
Over lunch, we were talking about our eldest child, who is a lovely, vibrant and creative young lady. She’s the one who is clearly the most introverted of the lot. She longs to have her own bedroom. To go to bed at 6:30 and sleep until at least 8 (this kid loves to sleep). To enjoy resting time in peace and quiet. To read her comic books without interruption. To be alone.
All our kids are so different. They’re different in personality. They’re different in temperament. They’re different in appearance. Each one truly illustrates the truth of Psalm 139:13, “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (HCSB). They are children who are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). They bring us a great deal of joy.
But sometimes when I look at them, as they’re sitting and playing with Lego, or reading comics, or doing school work at the table, or whatever, it makes me sad.
It makes me sad because just down the street, about a mile from my home, is the hospital where my youngest was born. And in that same hospital, the lives an untold number of babies are being ended. It makes me sad when I think about the kind of world they’re going to grow up in, as we’ve seen the first case of euthanasia confirmed in a Quebec hospital, and more on the way as the federal government continues to deliberate as to how to proceed in this area, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario considers stripping doctors of their rights to practice medicine in line with their moral or religious convictions.
It makes me sad because we still need to be reminded that all human life has value and dignity—and that Christianity offers an unshakeable foundation for this truth. That the Christian faith’s belief that all humanity is made in the image and likeness of God makes all the difference in the world to how we ought to treat people, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, income, or religious beliefs.
It makes me sad because Jesus has not yet returned. Because I know that none of these issues will be finally resolved until that day comes. Until that day, we’ll still find new and inventive ways to try to rob one another of dignity. We’ll continue to have to remind the world and one another that “a person’s a person no matter how small,”[1. Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!] or how old, how intelligent, how wealthy, or the color of their skin.
I wish this were the last Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. But it’s not. But we’re one day closer; and make no mistake, he is coming soon. And that gives me hope.