Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is life about?

This morning I read what Jessica (mother to precious Alex) wrote in response to a comment that Anonymous had left on another mom’s blog. Tamara has a sweet daughter who was born with severe health and developmental issues. Anonymous left a comment that criticized Tamara for not aborting this child in order to spare this girl a tough existence, calling Tamara selfish for using religious motivation to keep this child alive.

I completely disagree with Anonymous, yet I am glad that someone has had the courage to put into words what so many think. That way we can discuss it and debate it. The deep issue that Anonymous raises is actually a question of "what is life about?" and "what makes life worth living?". I think this question is worth considering, because it forces us to examine our values and beliefs about all life.
We live in a world that worships "perfection" so much so that we do strange things to our bodies to keep looking perfect, yet we neglect our souls and end up doing terrible things to each other. We live in a world that worships the attainment of wealth and the ability to dominate so much so that half the world are squashed down by the injustices of the other half. Our world is slowly becoming dangerously hardened and cold as we become more and more focused on self preservation. In the light of such a world our kiddies don't count for much because their very existence challenges the foundations of such a society.

Our kiddies call forth from us compassion, kindness, humanity, joy, selflessness, and respect.

Our kiddies teach us to love and about love, and if we let them, they open the door to God’s love for us.

Our kiddies are greatly honoured in God's kingdom.

Our kiddies will be welcomed as heroes into heaven one day, and will be heaped with heavenly reward for the way that their lives were used by God to transform those who know them into softer, kinder and warmer people.

In 1 Corithians 1: 27, I read “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

In the light of this I can understand why many in our world might be confused about the purpose of our kids' lives - God’s ways don’t make sense. It is rather upside down that God should pour so much love and value into these little people whose bodies (and minds) are weaker. God says our bodies are tents – temporary shelters. Whilst God cares for our bodies and our health, he does warn that is our souls, and not our bodies, that will last forever. This is a wake up call to societies that are obsessed with "the beauty of the body" and the "power of the mind". It is a call to be more concerned about those who have souls with disabilities rather than those who have bodies and minds with disabilities.

Many in our world believe that perfection, success, achievement, independence and wealth is what life is all about. If you hold to that definition our kiddies life may not seem worthwhile. God says life is about love, compassion, interdependence, community and selflessness. According to his definition all our kiddies lives are precious and valuable.
I also shudder to think what our world would become if we follow Anonymous' logic and thinking to it's next step. So we terminate children whose lives don't measure up to some criteria of "normal". What do we do then when someone has a car accident or other tragedy and their healthy body is paralysed or damagee, or their brain functioning impacted? Do we terminate their lives too, because now they don't fit with the criteria of "normal". And then where does that definition of normal begin and end, do we start terminating those who stutter, limp, where glasses or braces because they too aren't fitting into the "normal criteria" and they aren't perfect in every way. This is dangerous thinking with dangerous implications.

Let us rather choose to celebrate our humanity and the diversity of all who live on this planet. Let us support each and every person to reach their full potential.
Let us recognise that each and every person has something to give.
Let us learn to love and receive love.

5 comments:

hennhouse said...

Excellent.

Nicole, Graeme and Janel said...

Well said, Jax! Well said.

carina said...

I agree. But I also have to put in a word here. Our constitution states, that we all have an equal right to life. It is no-ones choice as to whether or not someones life has meaning, purpose or quality. Our law protects us all. Now, if the government (who is the law) doesn't even have the right do decide whether or not one person's life has more meaning than another...who is anon. to expect of a mother to decide. We are equal in a democratic country - and that includes children born into a world that wasn't designed for them. So Anon. needs a wake-up call. Or wasn't ever on the receiving end of injustice.

Cindy said...

Jacqui, Thanks so much for expressing a Christian world view with your response. I think the lost writer who wrote anonymously has no concept of the merciful and gracious God who teaches us in many ways, and who will ultimately make our children, differently-abled in this list, whole in the next life.

Micha said...

Thank you for spaeking up and putting it all into perspective. The abortion rate is sky-rocketing all over the world and needs to be adressed.Well done, Jaqui