Friday, November 02, 2007

Right to life, right to die

Many people used to stop by my computer to look at the picture I had on the desktop. I was not surprised. I liked it myself, which is why I put it there in the first place.

The black and white picture showed a very new baby, held up in the air by two hands: that of its mother and father. The infant sucked its thumb, even in its sleep. Just above its little chest, a light glowed softly. The hands and the light seemed to say that there were three people involved in the little life, curled up in peaceful sleep: its mother, father and God.

Yet sometimes the wonder of life is trivialised in a world where so much is disposable that human life can also be put onto the rubbish heap.

Working as a midwife, mine was the privilege of being the very first person ever to have seen the baby emerging from its mother. There was a uniquely special feeling of being ‘in’ on the act of Creation. One of the most unforgettable joys of my life was when an unborn baby took hold of my finger and refused to let go.
Unfortunately, I had to release my finger from the tiny hand. After all, the baby had to be born and its hand was in the way, even if infinitely precious and in spite of my wanting to treasure that moment of closeness.

We hear a great deal today about the “abortion issue” and “the right to die debate”. Life is not an issue or a debate. Those who are doing all the talking can sometimes forget that they are only able to voice their opinions because they themselves are alive and that someone loved them into being.

Thank God that there are those who are willing to stand up for the defenceless.

God bless,
Sr. Janet