“After all, it’s your life.” I heard this on the radio today in a discussion about suicide. It’s your life so you can do what you want with it. Hungary has the highest rate of suicide in the world. It seems that the view of many Hungarians is that it is a brave act, especially for the elderly. Then they won’t be a burden for their children.
Abortions in the far East are killing girl babies at a brisk pace. This is especially true in China and India. It is alarming and even the secular humanists are concerned. The solution to this wanton slaughter? Outlaw ultrasounds. Astonishingly, to those unfamiliar with human sin nature, ultrasounds are being used for sex selection.
These two examples illustrate the same attitude. Some lives are more important than others. “Unwanted” babies and the elderly are less important to society. They are killed or kill themselves in order to save the rest of us the apparently immense effort and expense required to allow them to live. Abhorrent as this outlook might be, it appears to be the dominant opinion of the Western nations as well.
Let me share a different slant on things. Since every human life has purpose and meaning supplied by the God who created us, the elderly deserve the care of a compassionate and wise society. They have experienced more, learned more and are often wise as a result. (I confess a conflict of interest here. I am not far removed from being elderly myself.) In other words, every person is valuable, no matter how diminished. Take Greece for example. They consider it a child’s duty to take care of their aged parents. The nation has one of the lowest overall suicide rates in the world, partly because it is so low among the elderly. I suspect there is a connection. (It seems fair to me to expect this duty from the children since the parents took at least two decades caring for them.)
As for abortion, I consider it one of the great evils of the modern world. It fascinated me that the proffered solution to the accelerating sex selection that is killing the very females who might later grow up to likewise abort their own baby girls, is to outlaw knowledge. “You can’t know the sex of your baby because you might kill her.” It did not occur to the thinkers and authorities to outlaw the murder itself? It is ultrasound in particular that revealed (to the dismay of planned parenthood) that in the womb is indeed a baby human and not a “mass of tissue.”
All of this reflects a world view that teaches humanity to be a fortunate accident. None of us are here by design. We have a brief life which will matter little after death as the centuries erase the traces left behind. Very few people are remembered a hundred years after they die. No one is left alive who knew them personally. Poof! Gone! We never knew you.
The world is not mechanical and truth is not shallow. Human life is not an accident and truth is found outside of the boundaries of our own experiences. There is “more than meets the eye.” God knew me before I was born and called me into eternal relationship with Him through Christ. That gave me both purpose and significance. I haven’t always understood the import of this truth but I do now. I stand on a high hill and I can see my elderly stage of life from here. God will be there too. He has always been.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 Upon You I was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.