I work ten hours straight on Monday without access to a computer, so – I love comments but will not be able to answer any until this evening, or tomorrow…Thanks! And, of course, identifying details in the following story have been changed.
I run down the stairs from our apartment, outside, and around to the basement door in the back. I have to put a load of wash in my washing machine quickly, while the boys are quiet – Tim is napping and Andrew playing quietly in his room. As I turn to go back around the house, I slip on the frosty sidewalk and tumble into a wire fence, slicing my cheek badly. I bang on my landlady’s door. Mrs K, Mrs. K, I need some help! She comes out, gasps and goes upstairs to watch the boys while I get to the hospital as quickly as I can. They don’t do too much. A few stitches and I am out.
A few days later when I have the stitches removed, I notice an interesting new facial feature. I now have a deep dimple just under my cheekbone – not a natural place for a dimple, and not attractive. As there is a doctor in our evangelical church, I arrange to visit him. I know his wife fairly well – we go to the same women’s Bible study- so I am comfortable doing that.
Hi, Dr. X, what do you think of this new dimple on my cheek?…You must have been surprised to see that. You see, there is scar tissue under there and it is anchoring your cheek to the bone. I can fix that easily with minor surgery…As the Ontario Health Insurance Plan is new, alive and well, even for such things, I agree…A few weeks later and the deed is done. Simple and straightforward. I am left with a small y-shaped scar, but nothing else…So, that is not the reason I remember Dr.X. It was an insignificant operation. What is memorable came about a year later.
I am visiting with a German friend I know quite well, also from my church. She and her husband are good friends with the X’s. My friend has become active in pro-life issues, through me, and has recently discussed this with the X’s while visiting their farm close to Kingston. Dr.X then made the statement I have not been able to forget over the thirty-five years since I heard it…”Ellen, I would think no more about killing a child with Down Syndrome than I would about wringing the neck of one of my chickens…”
Isn’t that memorable?
We creatures made in God’s image are called by God to mirror back to Him His own beauty – the only intrinsic beauty in the universe. What do we sinners indeed mirror back to Him? Well, have you ever been to a “funny house” at a carnival? You know how you have gone out feeling you look pretty good that day, then you stand in front of one of those rippled, irregular mirrors? You look ugly, really ugly. Completely contorted. And that is the image of God we twisted, corrupted “mirrors” send back to Him….something hideous in place of His beauty. And what do people ordinarily do with a mirror that makes them look ugly? They smash it! Yet God has chosen to forgive us, in Christ!
But this man, while professing God’s name and claiming His mercy, wanted to destroy a child with Down Syndrome. Apparently, he saw himself as Fine and this theoretical baby as Not Good Enough.