It was scorching hot and I was in a boat that would take me from Ayer Island back to Jakarta. Beside me, there were a woman and her daughter. Judging from her appearance, the daughter might be fourteen or fifteen year old. She didn’t draw any of my attention until the boat moved. As the boat sped up through the ocean, this girl stood up and looked out from the window. She’s so amazed, her reaction quite like a five or six year old girl seeing the sea for the first time. At this point I started to notice but because I was so sleepy I didn’t pay any attention more.
When I started to fall asleep a loud voice from a mother beside me woke me up. I wondered what she’s speaking about, so I tried to listen. “The ocean is bigger than the land…, our world is round and you can see the horizon that separate the sea from the sky…” I heard something like that, the mother was explaining about how great the world is to her daughter, and she did it again and again.
When we arrived at the port, my mother commented on a mother and daughter I saw earlier. “It’s odd to say such thing to a teenager,” she said. “I don’t know,” I answered, “But looks like the girl is different”.
As we go home, the picture of the girl and her mother lingered in my head. I wonder how many people have made fun of her. People may speak behind her about her condition, people may laugh at her. I wonder if she knows. I wonder how her mother endures things like that. I wonder how many sleepless and teary nights that her mother had spent because of her daughter condition. And I was stunned. I was amazed by how brave the mother is, to love her child unconditionally, to not feel ashamed and still speaks to her daughter, to stay strong and endures everything.
When I got home, I checked my email. I am subscribing to Rick Warren’s daily devotional, and somehow today’s caption drew my attention at the first glance. The title is: Every Life Matter. Usually, I read the devotional at night, but today, I opened it right away. The passage, somehow, was related to what I saw today. Here is a glimpse of what it says:
All life is sacred. Today we even see it in young couples that are expecting and hear, “We hate to tell you this, but your baby may have a birth defect.” And the couple starts considering abortion.
If everybody who had a defect were aborted, you would have been aborted. You have defects. Everybody is handicapped. You just don’t admit it. You have some emotional handicaps, and you have some fears you won’t even talk to your wife about. They scare you to death. You also have emotional handicaps, such as the idea that you’re not as smart as everybody else. And you have some physical handicaps. Have you learned that not everything in your body works? That’s why you’re not in the Olympics. We all have defects. We all have problems.
Who makes the decision that your defect isn’t big enough to get rid of? Do you know a family who has a special needs child — an autistic, mentally undeveloped, or physically handicapped child? Do they love that child less? No. They love that child more! The Bible says that God loves the weak, the infirm, the special needs person. We need them in our lives to learn unselfishness.
We must always protect the sanctity of life. Why? Because it reveals God’s purpose and shows God’s glory.
You are valuable, no matter who or what you are. So is every child.
The Bible tells us that God accepts responsibility for all our genetic defects. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NIV).
God accepts responsibility, because he has a bigger perspective than any human. He can see what you can’t see. And he loves each person he made for their potential to do the great things he has planned for us.