“LIFE IS PRECIOUS” blazed across a woman’s sweatshirt stood out in bold letters. “It’s her way of telling the world she’s opposed to abortion,” I thought. Then I realized those three words on this walking billboard were more than a protest; they were a positive pronouncement, a plea to recognize the value of life for all ages.
Historically, we have seen life as a gift from God. This high view of life has its roots in the teachings of the Bible and our documents of liberty. Now something sinister is happening to us: we’re being seduced by death and many are responding to this callous call. How did we get on this slippery slope that began with snatching life from children before it was time to be born and now slides us toward ending life for the old and ill before it’s time to die?
In his moving argument for the value of life, David, the Psalmist, wrote: “You have covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
C.H. Spurgeon, the highly respected and often quoted English minister of the past, wrote: “The psalmist had little knowledge of the nerves, sinews and blood vessels of his body, but he had enough to arouse his admiration of its creation and his reverence for the Creator. We need not go to the ends of the earth for marvels, nor even leave our homes; they abound in our bodies.”
We are not merely blobs of flesh and hair, whether in the womb or nearing the tomb. Instead, we are creations of God and therefore valuable to Him. This ought to convince us life is never to be taken lightly.
Many have hit low points that caused them to wonder if life was worth living, moving suicide from being unthinkable to a viable possibility. This tragic exit that leaves lifelong scars on families is the choice of thousands every year. Now some want us to believe ending it all may be the best way out of a difficult situation, especially a painful or expensive one. Experience shows the “I don’t want to be a burden to my family” frame of mind to be the most likely cause of choosing physician-assisted suicide where that cruel option is legal and available.
The third Reich produced films to sell euthanasia to the public. Hitler’s smooth talking narrator tried to convince his audience that keeping suffering people alive was a waste of resources, a drain on the nation; Suffering should be reduced, likewise a public expense. But the tragedy of losing respect for life is revealed in the losses it produces.
When the old and ill are terminated because of expense, we lose life-changing examples that can only be modeled by those who have lived and loved long. We lose their wisdom and our self-respect because we’ve not returned their lasting love.
When a child is denied birth we lose a person who bears the image of both parents; one who reaches back through generations, combining all family roots in one special person. No one else will have the same appearance, voice or temperament. No other eyes will carry the same expressions. No one will be the same mix of past and present.
When life is denied a baby, we lose a family historian; one who seems to step out of old family portraits to walk among us. We lose part of our heritage and the reward of that person’s presence in the world. No wonder the Psalmist said, “Children are a heritage from the LORD. The fruit of the womb is His reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
The walking woman was right: Life should be precious to all.
Roger Campbell was an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. An anthology containing over one hundred of his best columns, “Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree,” is now available at your local or online bookseller. Contact us at email@example.com, or on Facebook @yourfaithadventure.