I was recently part of a conversation where the topic included one woman's son and daughter in law. They had just received news that their unborn baby had some markers for a certain birth defect. As I had a feeling it would, the conversation continued in a way that made me uncomfortable, disbelieving, and just plain sad.
"No one likes to see a baby suffer"
"That Mom will have to take care of that baby for the rest of her life."
"That baby will never be a contributing member of society."
I am paraphrasing here, but you get the idea. Could they not hear how they sounded? Do they really believe that these are reasons to find a living, growing, unborn baby disposable? Who are we to judge what a child with a disability is able to "contribute?"
People everywhere suffer. People everywhere need to be taken care of. People everywhere can have limited ways to contribute to society. That is all around us.
However, people everywhere were created by God. We must all believe that fundamental idea or we will fail to see our purpose in this life.
God knows what he's doing.
As a child I learned the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Is this not our purpose here on earth?
To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked; To harbour the harbourless; To visit the sick; To ransom the captive; To bury the dead.
To instruct the ignorant; To counsel the doubtful; To admonish sinners; To bear wrongs patiently; To forgive offences willingly; To comfort the afflicted; To pray for the living and the dead.
I do not claim to know what it feels like to live with such pain as having a child with a birth defect. But I also do not claim to know more than God does. We all are born with unique abilities and are able to contribute something. It could be something tangible like curing cancer, or something intangible like helping to teach someone humility and love.
God uses us as His instruments. We don't know how the music will play out. That is where faith comes in. It is my hope that we may all have the gift of divine light and see the beauty of all life so that one day we will enjoy the Symphony of Heaven.