[The third Sunday of January has become "National Sanctity of Life Day" in the US. Presidents Reagan, Bush and Bush have issued proclamations throughout their terms (President Clinton declined) for this day to be a reminder of the travesty of abortive rights in our country since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Below is my column for this Sunday's Outer Banks Sentinel.]
I believe in the sanctity of human life, primarily because I believe life is sacred and God is all about giving and protecting life. But sometimes such beliefs contradict conventional wisdom.
Years ago I heard that abortion might be permissible in certain cases, like to protect the life of the mother. OK. That sounded reasonable to me. But some would argue, "Come on. How often does a pregnancy put the life of the mother at risk?"
It's easy to proclaim yourself to believe in something that never touches you; that you never experience up front and personal. And it's easy to work into positions compromises based on "logic". Until it dares you face to face.
When my son and daughter in law discovered they were expecting the day before she was to being preliminary physical therapy in preparation for a double lung transplant they had to make a choice. Clearly such a pregnancy would compromise the window of opportunity for a transplant as well as her fragile health. Plainly put, carrying a baby to term would likely not happen, and the chances of her surviving such a pregnancy were slim.
So they were counseled by the medical community which cares for her to abort. The greatest medical minds said the risk is too high. Being pregnant now is the worst possible scenario. And from a human and scientific perspective they were right.
But they were wrong. So my son and daughter-in-law said "No" to the scientific rationale. Their reasoning? God is the Creator of life. They made a choice to be willing to risk her life, believing that God in His sovereignty had all this in His plan for them.
It defies logic. But sometimes that's exactly what faith does: stares finite human reasoning in the face and says "You're wrong because God is always right". Do I have all the answers to all the questions? No. That’s why I’ve chosen to trust God. He does.
Convictions don't come without a price. Belief in moral absolutes is so politically incorrect these days. But obedience never comes without reward. This story hasn't yet come to its conclusion, although it's getting there rapidly. But regardless of the outcome, it's what God thinks and reveals that counts.
So for me, being "pro-life" has moved from being a political stance or even a theological tenet. As a new grandfather of an animated, expressive beautiful girl, born January 8 I’m more convinced than ever how precious and sacred is life. She grips with her hands, grimaces when her diaper is changed; kicks her feet, opens her eyes. I dream of the day when she’ll play at the beach and chase her dog around the house and sit on my lap.
Born in her 24th week, a time when some would have us believe she still was not qualified to possess life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, she is a tiny witness (all 1 lb. 6 oz. of her) to life.
I no longer can stand at a distance and give token support to something I say I believe. My belief was challenged by circumstances beyond my control that faced me and those closest to me and forced a choice we will never regret. Partly because of the outcome; mostly because it was the right thing to do. It's become experience, and that makes it as real as real can get.
On this day especially, I’m not standing afar. I believe I’m standing with the Creator who gives life.
©2008 Rick Lawrenson