Christians Today

Life Is Precious

Whether the physical body has just started developing in a mother’s womb or is over 100 years old and dying, human life has great dignity and value.

 by Greg Brezina

I recently visited an elderly friend who spends most of his time in bed. When I entered his room, the smell of urine was very strong. After we talked a bit, it was apparent that most of the smell was coming from his portable urinal. He kept it next to his bed because he was losing control of his bodily functions.

Because the smell was so obvious and unpleasant, I asked my friend if it was okay to empty the urinal. He replied, “Oh, you don’t have to do it.” in a way that conveyed he would appreciate it if I would.

I said, “It is no problem for me.” and emptied the pot, rinsed it, and put it back in its place.

My friend, with his aged and weak voice said, “Thank you.” No sooner had I sat down than he started struggling to sit up and called out, “I’m going to throw up!” I looked left and right for a bedpan but did not see one. So I popped the lid on the urinal and placed it under his chin just as he began to vomit.

Between vomits he apologized. After each apology, I would say as graciously as I could, “No problem,” and borrowing a line from Chic-fil-A would add, “It is my pleasure to serve you.” Yet, as I held that smelly pot, I thought, “It is sad to watch him lose his dignity.”

Immediately, the Spirit whispered to me, “He has not lost his dignity. Growing old and losing control of bodily functions does not devalue life. All human life has dignity and is precious.”

It was a week later on Thanksgiving morning that Connie and I got a phone call from Brad, our youngest son. With urgency he said, “Dad! Patty and I are in Athens, and her water just broke. Pray that we make it to the hospital before the baby comes and everything will be okay.”

Back in March, a sonogram showed that their baby boy had a serious intestinal problem called gastroschisis. The doctors explained to Brad and Patty that when a “fetus” has a problem such as gastroschisis, it could have other problems that may not be detected. They suggested that Brad and Patty consider aborting their baby.

When their baby was born, his intestines were outside of his body. He was hospitalized for a month while gravity guided his intestines back inside his abdomen. During his time in the hospital, little Greg came close to death several times. Brad and Patty spent hours driving to and from the hospital every day, depriving themselves of sleep and rest. Over a hundred thousand dollars were spent keeping little Greg alive. They persisted because they believed human life is precious.

Last year, our third son Beau and his wife Patti conceived a baby girl that had cystic hygroma. The baby had many physical challenges, and the doctors encouraged them to “interrupt (terminate) the fetus” because it would not have “quality of life.”

Beau and Patti’s daughter died in her womb. In birthing Luci Faith, Patti went through all the birth pains that a mother goes through birthing a live baby and then experienced the grief of burying her daughter. They went through that extremely painful experience because they believed that the life inside her was more precious than quality of life, convenience, and money.

Two years ago, Ann Marie, the wife of our second son Ben, almost died with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. When the fallopian tube ruptured, she was out of the country without Ben. Emergency surgery was performed so she would not bleed to death.

After literally going through the valley of the shadow of death with her ectopic pregnancy, God gave Ben and Ann Marie another child. Ten months ago, they gave birth to Katheryn Ann, and two months ago they announced that they are pregnant again. They are sacrificing themselves because they believe that each new life God creates is precious.

Our eldest son Bart and his wife Denesha have had three sons in three years. Two months ago, they announced that they were pregnant with their fourth child. When some heard that they were expecting their fourth in five years, they rejoiced and said, “Praise the Lord! God is richly blessing you with many grandchildren.” When others heard, they literally groaned, “Poor dears.” “Their quiver is overflowing.” and “Boy, are they gluttons for punishment?” Denesha miscarried the week before Christmas. We are still grieving our loss.

Negative jokes and comments regarding children abound today but are not new. My mama said that when she was pregnant with me (I was her fourth child in six years.) that her friends asked, “Gertie, don’t you and Breezy know how babies are made?” and “Aren’t you glad your quiver is full?” This was back in 1946! I praise God that Mom was not influenced by their teasing comments. She and dad ended up having 8 children in 12 years. And, they would have had more if Dad hadn’t died.

Dad died from genetic heart problems when he was 37, and Mom was left to raise the children. Years ago I heard someone say, “If Gertie wouldn’t have had all those children, she wouldn’t have had it so hard after Breezy died.” So I asked Mom, “If you would have known that Dad was going to die when he was 37, would you have still had us?”

Mama answered, “I felt Breezy would not have a long life, but I didn’t think that he was going to die so young. But no, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.” And with a smile she added, “I’m glad I had you all.” Mama believes in the preciousness of human life.

Last year, Bart spent a tour in Iraq as a military doctor. One irony occurred when American troops wounded the enemy and brought them to the hospital for Bart and other doctors to mend. Some of the wounded enemy soldiers cried out for the death of the very ones who were trying to save them. The providers cared for the enemy because they believed all human life was precious.

Genesis 1:27 states that God created life in His image. Psalms 139 says that in secret, God skillfully, fearfully, and wonderfully forms, weaves, and creates human life. Because God is the author of human life, it is precious. Whether the physical body has just started developing in a mother’s womb or is over 100 years old and dying, human life has great dignity and value.

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