Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sanctity of Human Life

This has been at the forefront of my mind this week.  First of all, Steven's Aunt Katie is in the final days of her fight with pancreatic cancer.  She is a beautiful, joyful woman who served the Church with love for many years.  I've never had the privilege of meeting her in person, but I feel grateful that we were able to form a relationship through email and Facebook in the past few years.  It's been so touching to read others' messages to her on her Facebook wall.  It makes me cry every time as I read what an impact she has had on so many people.  Students, friends, and family are all praying her through these final days with their focus on Heaven.

This weekend I read the touching story of Mary Lenaburg of the Passionate Perseverance blog.  Her story is so moving, and it takes awhile to read, but it is truly a message of hope.  Her daughter Courtney has significant special needs, and yet her life is a reflection of God's love and faithfulness.  She witnesses to the sanctity of life to so many people around the world, and I'm grateful to be able to follow her story and read about such a special soul.

Today was a local adoption celebration for a little boy from our local community.  He is Thomas' age and his mother is very involved in the Church in our area.  It was an honor to get to share this evening with them.  Although our friends are already grandparents with all but one child grown and out of the house, they welcomed this sweet boy into their family with open arms.  A friend recalled when someone asked if anyone could take some children who needed an immediate home, and this woman immediately said YES.  I can imagine the feeling of being almost empty nesters, and yet starting over again with a new child.  What a message to the world on the sanctity of life and the blessing of adoption.

The party tonight was hosted by the most dear mother and grandmother I have had the privilege of getting to know while living in Corpus Christi.  I should add her to my list of the Things I'll Miss About Corpus Christi.  Sharon is one of those people who makes you feel loved just by the way she looks at you and speaks to you.  She has a huge heart and a great love for Jesus and for the pro-life cause.  She has seven children, three of them adopted, and I believe she fostered dozens of children before we knew her.  She homeschooled before it was "cool" to homeschool.  I think she said it's been 25 years of homeschooling, and she feels truly blessed and not burdened to be able to do it.

But the thing that moved me the most at Sharon's home tonight was her mother-in-law.  In the midst of the chaos of a big party with children running everywhere, there was a little room right off the living and kitchen area where this great grandmother lives.  The door was open and she was in a hospital bed, with oxygen and an IV and other tubes, right in the middle of their home.  Sharon and her daughters care for her, and I've never heard them complain.  In fact, Sharon tears up when she talks about her daughters and the way they care for their grandmother, doing difficult medical tasks with such love.  The great grandmother can no longer speak and may not be aware of her surroundings, and yet they keep her in their home and care for her day after day.  I believe her husband said it had been 15 years, and during that time they also cared for Sharon's mother in her final illness.  What a way to live out our call to respect all human life, from womb to tomb.

I can only hope that I will be able to live out this message of life and love now in the present, and as I grow old.  I pray that all my human frailty and weakness pales in comparison to God's grace in allowing me to continue to live out this calling, first to be open to life in our marriage, and also to be able to care for those who are vulnerable when we are able.  As we also mourn the tragic death of Robin Williams and pray for persecuted Christians in the Middle East and around the globe, it's hard to not be pessimistic about the future of our world.  And yet, I've seen hope this week.  I've read about it, and I've experienced it first hand.  I know that our God is a God of Life, a God of Hope...and that every human soul has a future in Him.

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