In general, I try to avoid getting political on social media. I can do without the drama. But I recently engaged in a thread on facebook that really helped me crystallize something I have thought for years, but never knew how to explain.
The thread was in response to the case of the woman in Texas who died, and everyone agreed that she was dead, but her body was kept functioning to benefit the 14 week fetus she was carrying at the time of her death. The woman’s body was kept functioning for two months before the court ordered that the family could have the machines turned off.
The discussion could be boiled down to this: when is it okay for a baby to die?
I will probably catch some heat for this, but I personally believe the hospital was in the wrong to resuscitate her body, and that they had misinterpreted the new law. I found the situation creepy and horrifying, and I would never want to be put in a position to have to make a decision in a case like this.
My family had to pull the plug on my father and it was awful, but all of us agreed that it was the right thing to do. I don’t think that you can truly know what you would do in that situation until you have stood at a dead person’s bedside. I have been there, and I have no regrets.
But this case involved a fetus. A potential human being. And here’s the thing:
I believe God’s gift of life has more purpose than merely growing up to procreate more life. Animals live to procreate. How are we different if we believe that the only reason we are here is to create more life? If my sole mission in life is to be a parent, and my child’s sole mission in life is to be a parent, and their children’s sole mission.... Humans are unique on Earth because we have the ability and the desire to do more with life than simply procreate.
I believe God’s gift of life, that spark of creation, that existence, teaches us as much if not more about God and His purpose when it is extinguished as when it is allowed to grow, be born, and live its life to old age before it dies.
I don’t believe the death of the fetus or a child robs us of a potential cure for cancer, or a presence who could bring peace to the Earth. I don’t believe it is in God’s plan that every spark should survive. God is not that limited. We will get whatever miracle God has in store for us, regardless of the vessel that finally accomplishes it.
I’m not trying to make it okay when a child dies. I don’t mean to imply that it is okay if someone slaughters children (or any life) wholesale. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be sad, angry, or horrified.
I’m saying that what we feel is the point.
What we learn from the event, what we do about it...that is what makes us human, what makes us distinct from animals.
Holding ourselves accountable for a decision defines our character and directs the course of the rest of our lives. Taking a stand for the things we believe in shapes our psyche, and grows us as spiritual beings. Living our lives with purpose, searching and reaching for God’s plan for us, and doing our best to fulfill that plan, that is what life should be about.
That spark that is extinguished? The greatest tragedy would be for nothing to change because of its brief existence.