Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at Children's Hospital Boston. Our newest nephew was born with Down syndrome back in August. He is a ray of sunshine and has already endured a critical heart surgery and a week-long stay in the hospital due to an upper respiratory infection. He has endured all of it with determination and joy. He is the sweetest little buddy. I think when I read the statistic above it is just hard to believe, hard to really wrap my head around that. When I hold my nephew Dylan, he is smiling, cooing, laughing and eating like any other baby. He is 100% alive and 100% as lovable and yet for more than most parents who receive this diagnosis, those facts aren’t enough I guess. It speaks to the greater problem-our hearts.
While I can’t relate to aborting a baby that wasn’t in my plan or rejecting one because they weren’t what I had hoped they would be. Which by the way, is life ever what you thought it would be anyways? I see something sickening in my own heart. Something wicked and dark. When someone is annoying. Someone doesn’t have normal social boundaries. When someone’s insecurities are being vomited all over me. I tend to avoid these kinds of people and circumstances. I tend to not want to be put out. I tend to be too busy for such people. I tend to ignore these people’s phone calls. The common denominator is not wanting to feel burdened, inconvenienced or uncomfortable. There it is; it always resurfaces… that pesky idol of comfort that I all too often sit at and worship. These are the very people that Jesus befriended, loved and made a home for. It reminded of of this text from Matthew 5... (21) “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’(22) But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. (27) You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. (28) But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The root of the heart is wicked and in desperate need of cleansing. A divine work is the only crow bar that will pry my hands off my golden calf of comfort.
I guess what Dylan has been teaching me personally, is that blessings often come in the way of things we would have never asked for. There is deep and beautiful life, perfect love to be found in some of the most surprising of places. Places I would never had the courage or knowledge to seek out on my own. It leaves me worship filled and grateful that God gives his children what they need even if it is in stark contrast to what they are asking for. God’s resolve in shepherding is absolute and with infinite knowledge. Oh to have a fraction of that strength to raise the little flock he has entrusted us with. And let me just say that this beauty and blessing must be fought for at times. There are so many choices in how we receive and are willing to look at what the Lord has given us. This kind of perspective is both a gift and a discipline.
A second truth. Life is God given and perfect in his own timing. In the article by Dr. Skotko I was reading he made the point that a lot of parents or women are uninformed which might lead them to opting to terminate a pregnancy. Dr. Skotko states, "I am concerned about mothers making that informed decision," he said. "Are they making it on facts and up-to-date information? Research suggests not, and that mothers get inaccurate, incomplete and sometimes offensive information."
There was a video circulating about a boy name Zion born with Trisomy 18 or Edwards Syndrome and I knew I was going to cry but wanted to watch it anyways, because I was so taken with the couple’s desire to let God’s love and perfection be displayed in this baby. Life is always a gift, no matter how short or how long. No matter how it comes to us or leaves us. We are all on display for the King’s splendor.
A Time for Everything
(3) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
(2) a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
(3) a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
(4) a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
(5) a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
(6) a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
(7) a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
(8) a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The God-Given Task
(9) What gain has the worker from his toil? (10) I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. (11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (12) I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; (13) also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
(14) I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.