You may have noticed a comment on this blog posting from Jill, a mom we’ve come to know through our typically-developing kids’ school. She has a beautiful, happy son who happens to live with Down Syndrome. Our anonymous genetic counselor responded to Jill’s comments as well.
I was a little surprised at this person’s uncertainty at Jill’s sadness; the delight she has in her boy is obvious, and the routine destruction of such children makes her sad. Makes me sad as well.
But what really surprised me was that I felt I understood some of his or her motivations more clearly. I have also been motivated in certain similar ways, and still struggle to kill the root of sin attached to them.
Things like, fear of what other people might think:
“What may appear to be balanced from the counselor, may seemed biased and opinionated by the couple” or “Presenting information that a couple does not want to hear is often considered unbalanced.”
A child’s life is being considered for destruction, and the baby has no advocate because the counselor does not want to be perceived as biased.
Things like, its up to somebody else to deal with the problem:
“Many couples have preconceived notions about what these conditions are and, perhaps, more awareness needs to be presented to the general population prior to any screening or diagnostic tests.”
Well, it isn’t happening; you are now the person who has the opportunity to educate in ways that might make everyone uncomfortable. Letting people live in their preconceived notions isn’t neutral and non-judgmental, especially for that child.
I understand both very well. Pride and fear are very strong motivators.
Stuck in pride and fear, supported by a discipline that bases itself on cool neutrality, this poor person is trapped. And I’m going to guess, would entirely disagree at being trapped.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8
Let us pray that God would delight in opening this person’s eyes to the beauty of Jesus Christ. And may we hear about a bold, innovative genetic counselor someday, unafraid to proclaim not just opinion but truth, to encourage deeper engagement with the finality of certain decisions, with the happy result of more children being allowed to live.
And I really mean that. I was much farther away from God than this person has communicated. It is all a work of God, as summarized nicely in this quote from Spurgeon:
I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him.*
*Thank you to Randy Alcorn who tweeted that on Tuesday.