The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.(John 1:5, ESV)
Sometimes the darkness is overwhelming:
The Chinese health ministry reported that more than 336 million children have been eliminated through abortion since 1971. Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition put that number into its gruesome context.
The horrific practices of a West Philadelphia late-term abortion doctor are being exposed at his trial for murder of seven babies, born alive, that he killed.
Late-term abortions still make Americans uneasy, but so does having a child with a disability. More companies are developing early tests to identify genetic anomalies. ‘Screening’ for Down syndrome and other genetic anomalies is growing rapidly.
And then there is the bizarre story of Baby S, a little girl with multiple disabilities and multiple parents – and the light broke through.
The headline, Surrogate Offered $10,000 to Abort Baby, introduced a story that is almost unbelievable and is hard to summarize:
An unmarried woman with children accepted money to carry a baby for a couple who could not safely have another child themselves. When that child was discovered to have disabilities, the couple wanted to abort, and the surrogate almost agreed. When she refused, the surrogate was bullied by the couple’s attorney and by a surrogacy agency to change her mind. The laws in Connecticut gave the surrogate no legal standing with the baby she was carrying. If she did give birth, the couple said they would turn the child over to the state; state law allowed them to do so. And then it turned out that the wife of the couple wasn’t even the genetic mother.
So, where is the light in all this?
That little girl was adopted into a loving home with a mother and father who care deeply about her. And that should lead us to worship.
Consider all the things against this little girl even being allowed to live, let alone being in a family:
The woman carrying her did it for the money and had no intention of raising the child.
The couple paying for the pregnancy did not want a child with a disability and offered $10,000 if she aborted.
The surrogate mother had signed a contract saying she would abort if they discovered a severe fetal abnormality.
The surrogate was not told the whole truth about parenting a child with disabilities.
The laws in Connecticut give genetic parents the rights over the baby, not the woman carrying the baby.
But God wanted that little girl to live and have a family.
So God put on the surrogate’s heart that abortion is wrong. Then he gave her an attorney, at no cost, who told her she could not be forced to abort. And when the couple threatened to take the child at birth and make her a ward of the state, her attorney found a state that defined parenthood differently – the person giving birth was the legal mother – and she moved to that state. The genetic father agreed to give up his parental rights. Then God introduced the surrogate to some caring people who could advise her about adoption and parenting a child with disabilities, and that couple ended up adopting this little girl.
That should lead us to worship. This demonstration of God’s authority and intentionality is a gift in a dark and evil world.
And it points to something powerful that the darkness cannot overcome or stop even as we weep over the killing of 336 million Chinese babies and more than 50 million American babies:
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:22-24, ESV)
As Pastor John helpfully summarized:
In other words, the final argument for the righteousness of God in a world with so much evil and destruction is that this evil serves the revelation of God’s glory. That is, God’s just judgment of it and God’s gracious rescue from it display more fully the glory of God than if there had been no evil.
Someday, the killing season on all babies will end. Someday, the riches of his glory will be fully known as we see him face to face. And Baby S will be recognized by all, including those who continue to say her life has no worth and the surrogate should have aborted her, that she is a creation of a great, powerful, and purposeful God.