Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
In Psalm 139, King David is in awe of God and waxes lyrical about the amazingly complex and wonderful creation of a human life within a mother's womb.
Today, with the advances of technology, we are able to see life growing within a mother's womb. A great example of man using his God-given creativity for good purposes (although that same technology is used for the convenient destruction of human life).
My wife and I were at the hospital for the 20 week scan of our baby at the end of July. The detail is incredible and we didn't even have one of those special 3D scans! (the picture above doesn't do it justice) We were able to see facial features, tiny finger bones and even the chambers of the heart!!! We were amazed and incredibly excited to see our baby and we are so thankful to God for the blessing and privilege of becoming parents.
But, at the same time, I also found myself reflecting that this same technology which drew praise of God from us it the same technology which will mean many parents will choose to terminate the life of the baby because of an abnormality or genetic defect.
Nancy and I had made the decision long ago that whatever happened we would continue with the pregnancy believing that we have no right to "play God" and because we know God loves us, loves this child and we wanted to witness to His love and grace in our lives whatever the situation. As it stands we are reliably informed by the hospital the our baby is perfectly healthy so we aren't faced with any decision. But we knew we needed to have made a theologically informed decision before being faced with a very emotional situation which may well cloud our judgement.
The question I know that is always raised is; "is it loving to let a child come into this world knowing its quality of life will be poor?"
As genuine a question as that is for many, I often wonder whether if it is a just a capitulation to the world's ideas and principles for others.
It is true that love should drive our every decision, but I don't think we can judge the quality of life of a human being when there are many living examples of people who in the midst of these so-called abnormalities have led joyful, fulfilled and at times unbelievably inspirational lives.
Who is to say what God's purposes are in the life of this child, in the lives of the parents as they look after the child and in the lives of those around as they see the grace of God working? The opportunity to love the child once it is born and display the kind of self-sacrificial love of Christ to the world in doing so is surely far greater than 'loving' the child by ending its life.
Let me end this brief, and possibly very emotive, post by saying I do not in any way wish to judge anyones decisions (past or present), I hope the post does not come across that way. Any comments or questions are welcome as always.