Lydia dances up on the flat screen and I watch in amazement. She twirls and kicks, raises her hands to her face, and at times, turns her back to the audience. She's 22-weeks old and beautiful.
At Lydia's most recent ultrasound, I found myself struck by the serious reality that there are people who passionately argue that this little girl is not a life worth protecting in the face of a mother or father's selfish desires. My thoughts went back to last November 19th, when I watched the early birth of my son and his short 15 minutes of life as he tried to hold on. (Titus is the one pictured in this post. You can read mine and Lisa's thoughts on that here.)
When does life start? For a sea turtle our culture has decided that it's worth protecting before the mother even lays her eggs on the beach. Don't mess with a sea turtle making her way out of the water. And those eggs she laid in the sand are under the protection of federal law. The unhatched life of a sea turtle is valuable.
If Lisa and I were hit and killed by a drunk driver on the way home from the hospital, the state would charge the driver with THREE counts of vehicular homicide. Lydia's life would be respected, even in the womb. The court would respect her as a person. However, if Lisa and I, after seeing Lydia on the screen, determined that we didn't want to be her parents, there are still options to terminate her life. If the mother determines that her 22-week-old baby has no value, we call it a fetus and can provide a procedure to remove the inconvenience. However, if the father decides to punch his wife in the stomach and the same fetus dies, we call the fetus a person and we charge the father with murder.
The only explanation I can provide for this madness is selfishness. We are a wicked and perverse generation. Our decisions are driven by our need to have it the way we want it. We'll call her a person when we want her; however, we'll label her a fetus when we can't face the truth that we're actually willingly killing a child.
We're so selfish! But let's be honest, I'm selfish too. God, in his sovereign wisdom allowed Titus to be born too early to have a good chance for a long life. I wanted him with me and my family. I had hopes and expectations for my son. I wanted his life to be so much longer. I want the same for Lydia. I have my own selfish expectations. I have my own desires just as much as the woman who wants to kill her baby. I'm selfish too.
The answer to both areas of our selfishness it to submit to God and his will. We must die to our own desires, especially when life is on the line (which include our own). We must conceded that Jesus is Lord and he knows best. In the case of the woman who wants to end the life of her dancing little girl, she must see that God has made the life living in her womb in light of a choice she made that led to the conception of her child. The father must see this too. Yet so many still spit in the face of God and believe they know better than he. And in the case of my own selfishness, I must to remember that God is sovereign. He knows best. In both cases, the selfish (which is all of mankind) must trust in the Lord, for he is the giver and creator of life.