This is a post I was somewhat hesitant to write because of the mention of some very controversial issues that is plaguing our world and nation today. I am not taking one side or the other in the debate over right/wrong, fact/fiction, and political leanings in this post. I am simply making a statement of why, in the face of a world so broken and torn, I choose to bring another life into the world (and made to suffer through said broken/torn world). And yes, it is based on my own religious beliefs. I know that many may not understand or comprehend why I believe what I do…but I share them anyway. Take them for what they are. You are under no obligation to share in my beliefs. But all I ask is for the same respectful consideration of my values and feelings as I aim to have for others.
It seems that this past week, I have been bombarded with a Facebook news feed of so much bad news and terrible things that are occurring in our world. From the evils arising from international crises (i.e. Syria, Iraq, etc), to the ugliness of hatred/racism and violence rearing its ugly head right here at home (i.e. Ferguson, MO), to the utter sadness at the loss of life due to disease, both physical and mental. It’s heartbreaking to know that things like evil, hatred, and sadness are such a prevalent part of our lives and this world. There are many times that I too question why the Lord of love whom I place my complete faith in would allow such things to happen.
Considering my opinionated and outspoken nature on such issues (especially with so much controversy surrounding them), one would think I would be blasting cyberspace with narratives on how such and such is who and who’s fault. Or I would be making declarations on how wrongheaded certain people are in what they say, who they say it about, and how they deliver what they say. However, my initial gut reaction to these events did not follow my normal train of tirades. Instead, my mind wandered to the one question many people would begin to ask a mommy-to-be (or even a daddy-to-be) in light of such circumstances.
I’m thankful to say that no one has asked me this question. Everyone has been more than supportive of our decision to increase the numbers in our family. However, that is not to say that I don’t ask myself such a question. Why would I bring another life into a world only to live through such tragic and saddening events? But even before I begin to ponder such a question, I already know the answer…
As much as we would like to believe government regulations, military power, money, technology, arguing, or human medicine can overcome the problems of today, we have seen throughout history how these things have failed to correct the ills of this world. We still have genocide. We still have war. We still have poverty. We still have racism and bigotry. We still have depression and other mental illnesses.
But goodness, love, and joy are things that do not come naturally to humankind – we are all too selfish and self-serving to fully implement the true goodness, love, and joy needed to overcome. Not to say we do not try. We scream for and demand justice and peace for people we do not know, both domestic and international. We send humanitarian assistance to those who need it. We pray for those who are hurting. We share news and information to make one another aware and increase the activist base to bring change. We talk about how and try our best to help those who are utterly in the depths of depression and despair. We try so many things to fix these problems by our own human understanding.
This is because, no matter how much we try, humankind cannot be truly good, truly loving, truly joyful on our own. We as a species have been damaged by the sin and selfishness which is ingrained into our very souls. How many times have I done something that the world would see as an act of “good” or “love,” only to question (or even be questioned) whether I did this “good” for my own self-serving purposes? I’m ashamed to say that this is many times true more so than not. even those we believe are the very best of us all fall into this trap, which is why they are the first to tell you, in all honesty and humility, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom [they are] the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
And this is what I fervently believe – our hope for redemption from the ills of this world lies in Christ Jesus alone, who came to save us from ourselves. My hope to be the difference in this world is to allow Christ to save me from my own selfish, sinful, yes…even EVIL ways, and leave me with nothing but His own hope, joy, and love to share with a devastated world. My hope to counteract evil, hate, and sadness is found in Him alone.
And my hope is that my child (perhaps even children…plural…if He so wills it) will also be an agent of change through this miraculous and soul-altering grace that is available to him in Christ Jesus. Someday, he will come face to face with the “bad things” of this world. It will hurt him. It will wound him. It will devastate him. But at the same time, I hope that he will also be moved with the same longing for good, love, and joy to overcome…and find that he can be the agent of bringing change by trusting in the goodness, love, and joy in Christ Jesus.
There will be those who justifiably question my motives (myself included) as time goes by. There will be those who will choose not to bring children into the world because of all of the horrible wrongs they would not want to expose another living being to. I completely respect those feelings and understand, and there is nothing wrong with having that perspective. There is good in that perspective. But there is also good to feel an obligation to counteract the evil, hate, and sadness by helping raise a new generation of people who’s heart will long for goodness, love, and joy…and seek to usher healing into an otherwise broken world.