Sacrificial Love

It makes me sick to hear of women having abortions because their unborn babies are deformed or handicapped in some way. If those women are even capable of love,  giving the babies up for adoption would be the more humane thing to do.

There are people in the world who have enough love to care for handicapped children. Much better for the children than growing up with parents who continually gripe because their handicapped children are “inconvenient” to care for.

But what of babies who appear to be perfectly healthy and normal at birth, only to show signs of being handicapped months or years down the road? Do the parents cease to love them because of that? I would hope not, although I’m sure it happens in some instances.

When I was writing The Devil and Pastor Gus, B.L.ZeBubb (the Devil) was complaining about handicapped children. Gus responded with this story about a couple from his church, a true story about a couple I used to be close friends with:

“Handicapped children aren’t an embarrassment. A sweet couple from church lost a severely disabled daughter some years back. Requiring round-the-clock attention, she was exceedingly difficult to care for, and her folks lived in a permanent state of physical and emotional fatigue. Spiritual burnout plagued them at times, too.”

Gus pretended not to notice B.L.ZeBubb smiling gleefully at his mention of spiritual burnout.

“But were they relieved when she died? No way. They couldn’t have grieved more over the death of a healthy daughter, and they still remember her fondly these many years later.”

That couple’s self-sacrificing love for their daughter still inspires me. And it always will.

Self-sacrifice? Isn’t that what love sometimes involves? How can you have love without at least a willingness to sacrifice?

Probably the best definition of love I’ve ever heard is “wanting what’s best for the other person–and being willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to bring that about.” My friends’ sacrifices couldn’t change their daughter’s handicap. But they didn’t let her handicaps change them. They gave their all for her.

Several  Sunday nights ago, a young lady from my church who was barely out of her teens died from health problems that could not be cured. I barely knew her, and I don’t know her parents at all. But one thing I’m sure of. They know the meaning of sacrificial love.

Ellen Masters, I’m thankful to have known you ever so slightly and to have had the privilege of praying for you for years. I’m sure your parents did everything in their power to keep you alive and return you to normal health. But, in this case, sacrificial love meant having to let go when nothing else would help. We believe you’re in God’s presence right now, whole for the first time in years. I look forward to getting to know you better when my time comes.

Comments are welcome.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger

Right to Life

I’ve never wanted to be a politician. Politicians never please everyone, and they often seem to cave to the loudest voices rather than to the ones that are morally and ethically correct.

Nonetheless, some politicians do pay attention to their electorate—the very people who put them in office—and attempt to do the right thing, even in the face of strong opposition. I commend them.

In the November elections, We the People elected Senators and Representatives we believed were listening to us. In doing that, we sent a clear mandate to Washington about what the majority of Americans think about key issues.

Especially the need to honor and obey the Constitution.

I hadn’t read the Constitution for a while, but I skimmed through it a few minutes ago. Nowhere did I find the familiar “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” No wonder. That’s in the Declaration of Independence.

Nonetheless, no civilized nation permits murder to go unpunished. “Thou shalt not kill” is one of the Ten Commandments God gave Moses, and it applies just as much to America as it did to the Children of Israel long ago.

The issue seems to be “What is murder?”

Sounds silly to even ask, doesn’t it? The answer is obvious. Taking someone else’s life.

But what about war? Killing is taken for granted there.

I’ve heard it explained that God never forbade His people from killing their enemies. The Bible is filled with numerous examples of them doing that.

What about capital punishment, though?

I suppose one might say that the judicial system is executing the enemies of law and order. I’ve heard better explanations, but I don’t recall the details.

Finally, then, what about abortion?

Hmm. The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document. Not in the sense the United States Constitution is.

But if murder is “taking someone else’s life,” then the abortion question is one of  “At what point does someone become a person?”

Back in the days when I felt more neutral about abortion, I hadn’t yet seen any of those graphic pictures of the development of a baby at various stages of his or her life. But I’ve seen them time and again in recent years, and no one can convince me that unborn babies are not yet “persons.” Persons with human features. Persons who can feel pain by the time they’re twenty weeks old.

So I have no choice but to consider abortion the killing of a miniature—but a very real—person. Not the killing of an enemy in war. Not the killing of an enemy of law and order.

But the killing of a person whose continued presence is—at least in most cases—simply inconvenient.

I’m not unfeeling, however. Where rape, incest, or the health of the mother is involved, I’m not nearly as adamant in my opposition to abortion. But even then, abortion is still the killing of a very real person.

God never stops loving his children. He forgives everyone who confesses their sins to Him and asks forgiveness. I believe that is true of hardened criminals who repent and seek God’s forgiveness, and I believe it’s equally true of women who’ve had abortions and ask God’s forgiveness. But He doesn’t free them from the consequences of their actions.

I wonder how God feels about the unrepentant law makers who fail to take We the People seriously. Those who place political expediency above their promises—and above the civilized standard of not committing murder.

They, too, must ultimately live with the consequences of their decisions–including the loss of support from We the People.

[NOTE: My daughter is adopted. I cannot imagine how different–how less wonderful–my own life would have been if her birth mother had aborted her.]

Abortion is a hot topic. While I hope you will feel free to leave comments, I ask that you do it in a thoughtful and civilized manner.

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger