Prayers for someone whose blog I read

Recently I received a couple of comments from the friends of a woman facing a very difficult time. She had known for a few months that the child she was carrying had a condition that would make it impossible for the baby to live outside the womb. She chose to carry the baby as long as possible. She knew she would have the chance to hold the baby and say good-bye. She had a chance that no one would wish for to practice the ethics that many people preach about. She wrote a little about it on her blog.

I don't really know this woman, I just know that she reads my blog occasionally and I read hers occasionally. So while I am happy to hold her and her family and friends in the Light, I won't be contributing anything else.

However, as someone who spent a turn in the intensive care nursery (with a premature baby who turned out just fine and healthy) I am aware that these kind of decisions and tragedies happen every day and are heartwrenching every time.

A Friend of mine wrote an article for Friends Journal a few years ago about bodily positions for prayer. She was questioning whether sitting upright in folding chairs was really conducive to deep prayer. One of her suggestions was that if we want to know how to pray for the world's children, we should adopt the posture of a woman in labor who cries out, "Save my baby!"

My prayers this morning are for all the families who cry for their babies, saved and unsaved.

Note to readers: I will not entertain a discussion of the ethics of life before birth on this blog at this time. Comments that make more than a tangential reference will be deleted, at my sole discretion.


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Blogger forrest said...

I don't know whether this is any use to the person or not; it's just been hanging on my mind from physical restlessness & lack of other worries--but here's a little of that discussion you didn't want: We make an abstraction and an idol of biological "life" and sacrifice ourselves and others to it. It all reminds me of my own mother, how often she would put herself through some wretched ordeal that did me little good, or rather made me feel worse.

One of the times I came to San Francisco I was saying goodbye to her, again at horrible cost to her--but I like to think it reconciled us and made her life a little more what she'd hoped for...

Life is not kind, who holds my mother caged
in an iron bed, that will not let her go,
mist-blind, half paralyzed, able to know
but not speak, kept and aged

as prey for spider-children, who are kind,
with food she cannot swallow, drugs for pain,
oil for the skin, and nothing for the mind.
It is not their fault that she is sane.

We read to her; we tell stories about death;
we hold her searching hand, curb the vague
shameless movements of her automatic leg;
we listen for the sound of no more breath.

It is our wanting Life that makes her cruel;
it is too dangerous to be her fool.

9/12/2006 6:01 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Forrest, this was tangential and poetic enough to stand. :-)

9/15/2006 5:32 PM  
Blogger Nancy A said...

Someone very dear to me was in this position, learning of a hideous malformation late in pregnancy. I was on the phone with her every night, trying to help carry her to a decision. She was frail, broken, lost. She had to find strength.

In the end, she chose to end the pregnancy for two reasons: there was risk to herself from the deformity of the fetus, and there was a small risk that medical intervention would keep the baby alive to suffer its entire life. There was no escape from the nightmare. A gentle, soft-souled person, she had to face it head-on.

Human beings are philosophers, but we live in a natural world that doesn't know philosophy. The principles we develop so often clash with the harshness of life.

Definitions blur. Rights collide. Absolutes adapt. The time-honoured erodes. Culture has to break down before the monkey inside us.

I felt this so strongly when I was her shepherd. I told her what nobody else wanted to say: Survive.

10/01/2006 8:16 PM  

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