One of the most disturbing news stories I've read lately is about the woman who was walking down the beach holding her baby above her head. Eventually she simply heaved her baby into the ocean. Luckily for the baby, bystanders saw it happen and went into the water to the rescue. Another recent article spoke of a baby found alive after being abandoned in a trash bag. There are hundreds of such stories, and many have far unhappier endings.
I thank God that I have never been there. But I have heard some unimaginably horrible stories, so unspeakable that if you look at it from the mother's perspective, death becomes a way of protecting a child from a fate truly far worse: A loving if misguided choice.
We, who have been surrounded by the knowledge of love since our birth, either by the actions of our parents, the love of a grandparent, the grace of a church or the blessed kindness of a teacher sometimes forget what that knowledge has given us in terms of our personal security and mental health. Despite the limits of the love of the people in our lives we have, at least, made a connection with the Divine Love possible. Most of us have absolutely no grasp of the level of desperation or hopelessness that would lead a mother to make such choices.
Do not think that I am in any way supporting the murder of children. It is unthinkable. But I want you to think, for a moment, about the love that HAS been gifted to you. Imperfect, difficult, amazing, wonderful, healing, hurting, kindhearted, generous - flawed as all human love has been. I cannot express how grateful I am for this love. And now think of how much MORE the Great Giver of all Love has given you. Gratitude multiplies.
How do we show that love to the unloved? Do we stand in cold, unloving judgment of the choices of others or do we show them the kind forgiving grace that Love has shown us?