All M wanted was “love.” She's not ready for a baby. She wants to make it go away. What do we do? What do we say?
G’s pregnant and the guy has proven himself a jerk, not fit to be a husband much less a father. What do we say?
L & D are both excited. They’ve got a great family started and this new little one will have lots of love. Then the doctor tells them there is a problem. A big problem. "The earlier we terminate the better. You can have another child, a healthy child, and continue to grow your family. It’s not fair that you be burdened with this when your other kids need your attention." What do we tell her?
Most of the people I hang out with will adamantly stand for the baby, for its right to life, in all these scenarios. No excuses.
Just because you weren’t planning on a baby doesn’t mean you kill it. It will be difficult, it may be embarrassing, but you can't just make it go away.
Just because you aren’t married, or you’re married to a jerk, doesn’t mean the baby should not be born. This little one will be a tremendous gift.
Just because the tests indicate any number of issues with the child’s health or development, just because the child may not live a long “full” life, doesn’t mean she should be eliminated. She is still a life, a gift from God. No matter how hard the future may look.
That’s what we say. But how do we really live? Are we really as Pro-Life as we claim to be?
Sometime in the next year, this little one shows up at the church nursery at check in time. Mom looks pretty frazzled, like this morning has not been an easy one. We don’t know it, but very few mornings have been easy. Baby Girl cries inconsolably through the whole church service. The nursery workers are pacing, waiting for Mom to return and rescue them. It’s been a long hour.
Next year, Toddler Girl may not be getting words like her peers. That’s frustrating for everyone. Frustration leads to biting and nobody wants that. We’re going to have to do something.
In the Preschool, she doesn’t sit at circle time but flies around the room, climbing on tables and making noises, not seeming to care that she’s interrupting the teacher and distracting the other children. We can’t have this. We have to call Mom. With tears, Mom takes her from the room and decides to just stay home next Sunday. And the Sunday after that.
It’s been four years now. Our second grader has settled down some, thanks to hundreds of hours of therapy and thousands of dollars out of pocket. She’s still stressed by things that don’t bother the other kids and she still needs her routines in order for life to be manageable. Dad works all the overtime he can get and mom even works some weekends when Dad is home, just trying to give their little girl a chance. But neither one of them are working this weekend. "Maybe we'll try that church again. Maybe this time…"
Are there easy answers? Not often. But we can’t desert any of these “little ones,” whether in the womb or in the classroom. We’ve got to get in the battle with more than our words. Whether it's the complicated pregnancy or the complicated second grader, just because we don’t have the answers doesn’t mean we throw them away, either by abortion or by relational abandonment.
I still have way more questions than I have answers, but I know that we can come alongside, we can learn, we can enter into their world and learn how we can serve them. We can seek to understand rather than demanding conformity to a perfect world that we lost a very long time ago. We can hug that mom without giving her any parenting advice. We can celebrate that child when she enters the room, knowing she will show us things about God that we never would know any other way. And we can stand in new amazement at the idea that God loves us, His messy, complicated, learning-disabled, stubborn children who sometimes bites when we're mad.
Truly, I tell you, what you’ve done to the least of these, you have done to Me. (Jesus of Nazareth)