Today is the 40th anniversary of the March for Life in Washington DC. I have never been to the March, but I have always prayerfully supported it. I have lots of friends who have been in the past and lots of friends who are going this year.
I don't want to turn this into a religious or political debate because I would prefer that we all just play nice around here. But, what I would like to say is that all life is precious. All life. And we should prayerfully support all life.
I understand that people differ on the definition of life. That's really where most of the discussion seems to come from. But in reality, the ugly side of it is that the real debate hinges on the value of the life in question. The whole world seems to be going gaga over Kate Middleton's baby. A baby who could technically still be aborted in many places. But no one would ever suggest that this baby should be because this baby's parents are in love, married, popular, rich, educated and a whole host of other things that the world values as important.
And hooray for all the babies that are conceived into the wombs of mothers who fit all or most of the criteria listed above. Those babies have a great shot at life. It's probably mostly (comparatively) smooth sailing for them.
What about babies who are conceived in the wombs of women who don't meet those criteria? The lives of those babies should be just as valued. The lives of those mothers who are considering getting rid of their babies because they don't meet those criteria are also valuable. Even a woman who decides to have an abortion should still be valued. It's never an easy decision. It can't be. I can't imagine there are woman who get pregnant for the sole purpose of aborting babies. That's disgusting!
I remember when I was first pregnant with Benjamin. I was excited, but honestly, I was mostly terrified. Money was already tight. We had our hands full with two kids. Our house was already feeling cramped and I was really worried about having a third child would do to us. I kept those things mostly to myself, but those worries were always in the back of my head.
As we were announcing the pregnancy to various people we got a lot of different reactions. Apparently, once you've got "one of each" you are supposed to stop. Who knew!?! I also had someone ask us, "Where are you going to put it?" That question made me furious. Probably because in some ways it brought up some of the worries that I already had. Mostly because of the word "it" and the tone of the question. And that the question was from a family member. Someone who should have (in my opinion) been excited to have another relative on the way. Maybe if the question had been phrased differently or maybe if it had not been the first and immediate response to our announcement, I would have felt differently. Who knows?
The point is, at that moment; not only was Benjamin not being valued, but neither was I. And today lots of other people around our country and throughout our world are not being valued. For their country of origin, the color of their skin, the amount of money or education that they have, their age, their past decisions, their smell, their gender, their religion and a whole host of other things.
Today I call for prayer for all life. Born and unborn; valued and undervalued. Can we, just for a moment, try to look at all the things that we have in common in this life instead of the small percentage of things that cause us to be different from one another? Can we be kind to the people around us, not because they are kind to us; but because it is the right thing to do?
And to answer the question of where we "put" Benjamin: We put him in our hearts. We put him in the same 8x10 foot room that his brother and sister are in. At bedtime, I put him right next to his Bubby on the bottom bunk and directly under his Sissy in the top bunk. Money is still tight and we will soon have five rear ends fighting for one toilet, but I can't imagine our lives without him. We have been truly blessed and we are well taken care of. I only wish that everyone in the world could feel that way.