It seems we are born filled with certain knowledge. It also seems that as adults we can sometimes waste our lives trying to forget what we fundamentally knew as a child. We knew nature was beautiful; we took the time to study dandelions, our own shadows fascinated us, a fire could capture our imagination for hours. We had a reverence for the immensity of the world and other living things brought us joy.
But as adults, these innocent wonders can fade. We lie to ourselves, we argue more to convince ourselves than anything else, clinging to talking points to guide us, especially if we have glimpsed the logical conclusion of false convictions and do not want to face them because we fear the truth may demand too much. We become lost.
It’s easy to turn away and not look towards ultimate truth if there’s enough verbiage and distraction, and it can almost feel secure to memorize the points and be able to repeat them. But that isn’t security. We cheat ourselves out of living life to the fullest. It may seem hard to face the truth at first, but truth, and only truth, sets us free. I’ve been there. Part of opening my heart to God was to simplify my life, to remember what it was like to be a kid again. I didn’t realize how much I had forgotten, or worse, hidden from.
In the last few days there have been people commenting on this post about abortion. Some even say it is acceptable to kill a child like this 24 week old baby boy in his mother’s hands if he is still dependent on her to care for him. (Or as Leila Miller has pointed out on her blog, the question is ignored.) Abortion is legal up to this age electively; it is legal to kill an unborn child this age if he is unwanted. Too dependent, time to die. “Sorry kid. My body, my choice. Somebody give me the money to do it, and afterwards I’d like a gift basket and some cookies.”
There was a completely different reaction in my home yesterday. I had the picture up on my computer screen last night and my four daughters, ages 4-8 years, walked past it and exploded into one big ball of fascinated coo-ing, squealing, and questioning. No looking away, no silence. Quite the opposite.
“Ooohhh, look at that tiny baby. Mom, how old is he? Why is he so little? Was I that little? I want to hold him! Is he going to live?”
The eight year old remembers the early sonogram of her baby brother when he was literally the size of a peanut. He was about four weeks old. She had no idea what the doctor was doing or what she was about to see on the screen, but when we both saw a very tiny beating heart coming from the camera near my belly, she screamed, “There’s a baby in there. Mom! We have a new baby.” She just knew. She and her sisters followed the whole pregnancy with intense curiosity.
That baby is now barely a year old. He reacted very strongly to the picture of the tiny baby too, almost leaping out of my arms to reach the screen. I realized something. He knows what some adults have talked themselves out of knowing - he knows that little 24 week old baby is a precious child, a human being, a person just like him. A beautiful and joyful thing. He knows the truth. Please God, may his sisters never let him forget it. He’ll be a better man someday because of it.