A promise postponed

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sunday is the annual Life Chain in McCook. Supported by the local Right to Life organization, participants, including yours truly, will line B Street, 2:30-3:30 p.m., for an hour of silent prayer and protest against the crime of abortion.

I do believe it to be a crime. A crime against humanity. A crime against society. A crime perpetrated against both a mother and her unborn child, committed in the apt name of "Choice." And, it is a crime against God, the author and giver of life.

One estimate puts the total number of abortions performed in the United States since Roe v. Wade in excess of 45 million. That far exceeds the number of Americans who died in all of the wars in the past century: World War I (116,516), World War II (406,000), Vietnam (58,148), and Korea (33,665).

Certainly not all pregnancies occur by deliberate choice, although one must admit choice enters into the equation when a man and woman become intimate. Even in the case of rape, a choice has been made.

But pregnancies that end in abortion, whatever the justification, most definitely end through choice. This to our shame, individually, and as a nation.

My participation this year will be particularly bittersweet. A promise, you see, has been postponed. Not broken, mind you, only postponed. A babe has gone on before us, the promise of cuddles, coos and cries unfulfilled for now. This babe did not leave by human choice and only God knows the full purpose behind the postponed promise.

For whatever reason, I was spared the agony of miscarriage. It is more common than I realized. One study suggests that miscarriage occurs in about 15-20 percent of all recognized pregnancies. [Note that the known rate for miscarriage represents only recognized conceptions. Since many women who miscarry are never even aware that they were pregnant, the occurrence of miscarriage is actually more frequent.]

My mother suffered two miscarriages. She firmly believed that those babies waited for her in heaven. This comforted her in her loss and it comforted me when she died, leaving the children she raised behind.

Now two of my children have shared the loss experienced by their grandmother, forced to relinquish the dreams of what would be for the promise of what is to come.

It is a heartache. But heartache with a purpose.

It seems common to humankind that it is only when the storm clouds of loss, deprivation, desolation and destruction surround us that our eyes are able to see the Light of the World, beckoning us homeward. Even those of us who live in the light benefit from storm clouds, for we all to often fail to see that light in the day-to-day routine of our lives.

So, to those who have found their hearts holding a promise postponed and to those who refused the promise when it was offered -- know that there is comfort in the hand of God and forgiveness in the heart of Jesus. God is faithful. He will comfort. He will forgive. He is worthy of our trust. He always, always does the right thing, even though it seems a hard thing.

"Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him." Job 15

Things you won't see in heaven: Broken promises

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