Ten tiny fingers,Ten tiny toes. Eyes that cross when he tries to look into mine. Cowlicks in a pattern unique to only him. A swaddled miracle-- an inexplicable marvel in a world of the empirical. That a life is knit within a mother's womb is nothing short of grace and glory.
And we live in a world that extols a child as a wonder if that child is desired and yearned for, and dismissed as unsubstantial if he isn't.
I never feel the crushing pain of unwanted babies like I do when I bring one of mine home to our loving family. I've been overcome with a flood of emotions each of the last six times we've welcomed home a precious newborn, helpless, vulnerable, and eager for nurturing. I've stared in amazement at the tiny limbs that once kept me awake at night with its kicks and stretches...and I've wrapped my arms around my 11 year old whose little shallow breaths seemed like only yesterday; it passes so quickly. The anticipation of life and the progression of life-- equally awe inspiring, equally breathtaking.
This last homecoming was no different, except the pain was sharper...I had a perpetual lump in my throat and an ache in my heart as I followed the Gosnell trial and the implications and reverberations of it's outcome:
"The "not guilty" count related to Baby E, who uttered a noise before being killed. Jurors could not determine conclusively that such a sound represented a sign of life." (source)
"Gosnell's attorney had argued it was “ludicrous” to say a baby was alive merely because it was moving. His case was bolstered when Chief Medical Examiner Sam Gulino said he could not determine from the frozen remains whether the babies had been delivered alive." (source)
I raged inside with how it could be possible for a man to be so amoral, so capable of such repeatedly heinous acts toward infants. How could he discard these human lives and yet contend with the reality of seeing himself in the mirror each day: That he was born of a woman and lived.
The beauty and wonder of conception, gestation, and birth lays bare my position as the created and God's as the creator. There is nothing so intricate, so sophisticated, so uniquely designed as a human life within the womb. I'm humbled by it's magnificence, and am astounded to be a finite being, used in such in infinite way. The most devastating thing about Gosnell is not that he is a monster that devalued life--he is-- but that he is a man who has spuriously valued himself above his creator. He's made his kingdom his god and taken life into his own hands.
But for the grace of God, I, too, would be, at my core, capable of sneering at life, laughing off the inconvenience of babies, and preoccupied with my own kingdom to the point of compromise. Not all who seek after their own kingdoms commit such heinous crimes, but it is the mercy of God that restrains us from becoming as wicked as we could be. Because nothing of true goodness, sacrifice, and love comes all that naturally to any of us, and the most dispicable of sins pour forth readily from willing vessels of body and mind...we can only believe (as horrid the thought may be) that we are not Gosnell because of saving Grace.
That reality does not cause me to excuse his actions or pity his ruin. Instead, it drives me to pray for this soul that showed such contempt for his Maker that he discarded the creator's creation. I fear for him.
My heart's been grieved over a fallen world and overjoyed for the underserved blessing of six beautiful sons. Whether you've experienced it once, or six times, the wonder of birth and babies is nothing short of a miracle...a grace-filled wonder. Nothing of the grotesque, heinous, and heart-wrenching atrocities committed against these little ones will ever change that fact, nor any place more secure and loving than Jesus' loving arms. That Jesus...he is more than a comforter, more than a shelter, more than the healer.
He is the King eternal, the righteous judge, the Redeemer. Come, Lord Jesus...may your kingdom come. And until that day, help us to treasure what you treasure and value life...every breath we are given.
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