Two precious lives lost. Both babies. One baby was loved and wanted, but a failed pregnancy abruptly stole the infant’s heartbeat. The other baby was not wanted, nor was even seen as a living, breathing human and was aborted. The differences continue as the first baby receives a tear-soaked casket while the other is discarded. The first baby is given stem upon stem of roses to adorn the freshly turned soil, while the memory of the other baby falls away like petals on a fading rose.
Neither of these babies’ stories are new to the world, unfortunately. Sorrow and unexplainable pain surround each instance. Both have something to say, though very different. The first baby may say, “It’s OK mama, don’t cry.” Or perhaps, “I’m sorry we couldn’t meet. I know we would’ve had so many great memories together.”
The second baby on the other hand, may have something different to say. Perhaps this baby’s small voice is offered like a sweet smelling rose from the grave, “I wish I had been given a chance.” Or maybe, “It’s OK mama, I’m where I’m wanted now, in the arms of God.”
The babies, either wanted or not wanted, point to one thing, and that is human brokenness. Because of sin in the world, we experience loss. We experience pain. We experience suffering. We can see it, not only in maternity wards or Planned Parenthood clinics, but we can see it in the news. The starving children, the women being sold for sex, the men being exploited at a young age as soldiers in a war they hate, elderly being neglected, babies being murdered; all of these cry out in silent tears for justice—justice that God seems to be withholding from us.
Resolution and relief efforts arise like an aromatic rose from the grave from the ones that could not be saved in time. Yes, a rose from the grave. It is from the One that rose from the grave that life, and justice spill forth. The suffering and the lost and the fearful and the wounded—they will not die when their hope is in the Rose of Calvary. Oh, that blessed aroma that permeates our sin and transgressions.
Someday we will each hold an account for the lives that fell around us. The babies that were aborted because we didn’t open our arms to receive a frightened, expectant mother. The child slavery we supported through the purchase of merchandise built on the backs of minors. The men and women we extorted by taking pleasure in porn. The elderly that died alone because we’d rather sit on our couches than sit with the lonely.
We may not be directly responsible for decisions made around us that led to death, but we can most certainly be involved in the decisions around us that lead others to life. True life! Life abundant and free. Life that Jesus says He came for, “…I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).
Jesus came to give us life, and Jesus is the life (John 14:6). One could easily conclude how Jesus’ death on the cross was Him giving of Himself that we might have life. He not only died for us, but He rose from the dead. He restored us! He gave us dignity by lying lifelessly in a human tomb. He gave us a voice and an advocate by surrendering His right to both. He filled our captive lungs with freedom’s air, while His own lungs emptied with a final breath.
Yes, this Jesus also rose from the grave! Death may have held Him for a time, but it was for an appointed time. He calls you to life too. He calls you to receive Him by faith alone and then calls you to be a life-lover, a Christ-lover. He calls you to advocate for those who aren’t given a chance for life, neither physically nor spiritually.
On February 6, 2019, men, women and children will fill the Oklahoma state capitol to speak up for the baby that no one wanted and the life that was taken. The event is called Rose Day. You can find more information at www.roseday.life.
What will you do to be a life-lover, a Christ-lover?