The woman stood in front of the congregation to tell her story. She had never spoken to such a large group before. I was in the auditorium “by chance” that day. I had come to hear my grandchildren sing. But an extended conversation in the hallway meant I missed my intended purpose that day.
I went home knowing I had been there for a reason very different from the one I had planned.
Her story drew me in. She had been pregnant for the second time. She spent weeks in bed nurturing a baby her doctors told her would never survive. And even if the child did survive, it would never walk, never be normal.
“It”. It is such an awful word when referring to a human being.
She should have an abortion now, they said. She fought the doctors. She finally found one who wanted to help her, to help her baby survive.
The weeks turned into months. The child arrived–a girl. She would not survive, the doctors said. But she did.
As this mother finished her talk, the doors at the back of the church opened and a little girl did not walk down the church aisle.
She ran. Beautiful, perfect, running. She was never an it.
She is set to graduate from college this spring. She has lived what we in America consider to be the most normal of lives.
All discussions about unborn life, life limited by illness or disability, center on one question: Who are we? Are we sacred souls made in the image of a great God who loves all, weak or strong?
Or are we just a mixture of electrical synapses and chemical reactions, a useful collection of spare parts?
One mother knows the difference.
Deep down, we all know it too.