I love studying history. I get that love from my Dad who taught history and US government for over 30 years. There are some moments in history, though, that make me physically ill. One of those times was hearing about the Nazi program called ‘T-4’ that claimed over 200,000 innocent lives. Special needs children and adults that were deemed ‘useless’ to the Nazi society were murdered via gas chamber, lethal injection or most cruelly, starvation. It was believed that this program was the training ground of the Nazi’s ‘Final Solution’ plan. On the United States Holocaust Memorial Website (www.ushmm.org) there is a photograph of doctors around a person in one of these ‘T-4’ institutions with the caption that translates “Life only as a burden” as the sick propaganda and ‘justification’ of their evil act.
Viewing this time in history with the fresh eyes of having Sarah makes my stomach drop. My heart aches for these families that lost their loved ones because they were viewed as unworthy of life. I wonder how many mothers mourned for their special needs child for the rest of their lives.
This past Sunday was ‘Sanctity of Life’ Sunday. Our church bulletin had the title “Celebrating Sanctity of Human Life: EVERY LIFE is precious.” My thoughts immediately went to Sarah and that her life is just as precious as anyone else’s. It is just different than the norm.
Many churches on ‘Sanctity of Life’ Sunday, quote Psalm 139:13-16 to describe how our God made us. Jerry Bridges in his book, Trusting God Even When It Hurts, says Psalm 139:13-16 needs to be read as one thought. He paraphrases it:
“God created our inmost being and fashioned us in our mother’s womb so that we might be equipped to fulfill the plan that He set out for us even before we were born. Who you are is not a biological accident. What you are is not a circumstantial accident. God planned both for you.” (pg. 166)
Sarah is not a biological or circumstantial accident. God has a plan for her life and while it looks different than other lives and has more challenges, it is just as precious.
Sarah brings us such delight. Last week, Kendall was teaching Sarah the multiplication table of 7 x 3 just for fun. Over and over again Kendall sang a tune that ‘7 x3 is 21’ to Sarah. She then said, “Okay, Sarah, what is 7 x 3?” and began to sing her song of ‘7 x 3 is…..’ and waited to see if Sarah would answer. Sarah was working on a puzzle at the time and with a sparkle in her eye looked at Kendall and then back down at her puzzle and sang back to her ‘22’. Kendall and I both started to roar in laughter. Sarah looked up and had this smile on her face that she knew she was being silly.
I thank the Lord for Sarah. She has enriched our lives for the better. I am thankful that our society has schooling and therapy options for her and other special needs people. I am thankful that people have a passion for teaching special needs individuals and have made it their career to teach, help and improve the quality of life for those with special needs.
Every life is precious. I couldn’t agree more!
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16