Every once in a while, a story generated through the media will have an intense impact on me. This past summer there were a couple of stories that grabbed at my heart-strings. The most recent, certainly had the greatest effect on me. After mulling around the details for about a week, I have finally decided to put my thoughts into print and share them with you. I’m a little hesitant to do this, because I may enter some “controversial waters”, and that is something I do not relish doing. As I’m sure you realize, I am an extremely conservative girl, so that will be reflected as I share with you. However, I think that all of my readers, conservative and liberal alike will be able to agree with the heart of the point I will attempt to make.
Let me share with you the picture that is haunting me, and that has moved me to write this article.
There she is-a lady twenty weeks pregnant with twin girls. This is an actual picture of her the day she approached the Orlando Women’s Center this summer,on the one day of the week that the facility offers late-term abortions, according to Kelly Clinger, who wrote the original article. Now hold on, liberal friends, you will soon see that this is not an “abortion article”. Just give me a moment to explain and see where I’m going with this…
Well, are you curious as to why she was seeking this abortion? I was, after all, most media outlets tell us on a regular basis that these types of abortions are only necessary in life-threatening situations for the mother-right? Or perhaps she had just found out that something was irreparably wrong with her children (again,not something I would feel comfortable with). So, immediately, I began quickly to scan the article for the reason..and then I found it. I stared at the page in dis-belief. Her reason? She already had little girls, and she found out that the babies were girls. SHE WAS ENDING THEIR LIFE BECAUSE THEY WERE GIRLS!!!??? Yes, that’s right. No threat to her life, no sickness or disablity…just the wrong sex.
As I think about this particular woman, and her actions, I have come to some conclusions I would like to share with you. It is my opinion that this lady did not have this abortion because she was liberal. Neither do I believe that she had this abortion because she was a feminist and was trying to prove some ”pro-choice” point. This lady did not even have this abortion because she was in a disparaging situation with no way out. I would like to suggest to you that this woman, simply did what she probably had been doing for years…she made this decision because “she didn’t care”- about anything but what brought her gratification. If she didn’t want the babies, she could have easily aborted them at an earlier point in their developement (again, I am entirely against abortion, but bear with me for the sake of this point), but she DID want them-if they were boys. For this reason, she allowed these little babies to develop to the point that their tissues, nerves, and muscles were all developed enough that they would sharply feel pain, simply because she wanted them if they were boys; yet she admitted that she didn’t care about any of this, because they were girls. People offered financial help. She didn’t care. People offered to adopt the girls with all expenses paid. She didn’t care. They were going to feel everything, like a surgery without anesthesia. She didn’t care. Her decision was not made because she believed in abortion. Her decision was made because she didn’t care…about anything.
And that’s where we are as a society, with many young people coming of age who simply Do Not Care. Only if it affects them, do they have any opinion. Let’s look at another pic, shall we?
This sweet little Grandma is sixty-eight year old Karen Klein, a school bus monitor from New York City. Karen was simply doing her job when she became a victim of bullying by (gasp) middle school boys. The boys mocked her, taunted her, and bullied her relentlessly, until she finally broke down and cried. This story only became news because someone captured then entire event on their phone and then put it on YouTube. Now, I have a middle school son, and my mother is in the same age range, so this story hit me like a ton of bricks! The school district punished the boys appropriately, and Karen is doing better than ever. Thousands of kind-hearted individuals from all around the country donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Karen was able to retire, go on a dream vacation, and even start a foundation to prevent bullying. Lovely. Problem solved-Right? Wrong.
You see, this problem of a generation of self-serving children and young adults who simply do not care about the needs of others, or even seem to be aware of their pain, is larger than two dead babies or one bullied Grandma. And further more, I believe it is preventable. Not entirely preventable, there is no way to put a “heart of gold” into every child everywhere, I realize that simply is not possible. However, what if we as parents woke up for a moment, after all, aren’t most of us sleep walking through the day-to-day? One game to the next, one school day or homework assignment to the next, one work-day to the next, one Sunday church service to the next.
Compassion is natural for some people. They are born with it. Many are not. Let me share with you an example of someone born with compassion. My oldest son Brayden is a good example of this. He is now in middle school, but I can still remember his compassion for disabled people all the way back in Kindergarten. Brayden came home terribly upset toward the beginning of his Kindergarten year. There was a little girl in his class-room, who was legally blind. She wore thick glasses, and even with these glasses, this little girl could barely see. One day, apparently a little boy grabbed her glasses off of her face, broke them and threw them into the rocks. Well, this little girl couldn’t see, and when it was time to line up, she couldn’t tell which line was hers. She accidentally got in the wrong line, and for a while, the class didn’t know where she was. She was soon reunited with her own class-room, but the memory of this incident lived with Brayden for years. I am convinced that his depth of compassion for disabled children was birthed through his feelings of horror over this memory. Shortly after this happened, he spent his beloved Kindergarten “center time” constructing a class craft for this same little girl. Why? Because the “glasses incident” and the compassion he had felt through that incident had begun to shape him as a caring individual.
Now, like I said, not every child is born with compassion, and those are the children that I am writing about in this article. That is where our responsibility as Parents comes in, to teach our children. There were nearly twenty children in that class-room with that little girl who’s glasses were broken, likely most of them didn’t even know what happened-they were just having a fun recess. A good friend of mine, laughs as she shares with me that her children wouldn’t notice if “a dead monkey were swinging in front of their face”. I have one of those kids too, and as a parent, I have enjoyed “showing” this child moments of compassion. Deuteronomy 11:19 encourages us to..”teach..your children…when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, and when you lie down and when you get up..” -Teachable Moments.
I think it’s time for another picture. Meet Jansen. What an amazing boy. I am so thankful for Jansen. I hope his family realizes how many people are touched by Jansen, how many hearts of compassion have been formed as he talks, laughs, and wheels that little machine of his around.
Every year our community has the opportunity to come out to Dodge for a Cause, and enjoy an invigorating day of dodge ball to raise money for Jansen and his life adventures. This year the proceeds were used to help pay for his new motorized wheel chair, and for days we were blessed with updates about Jansen’s trip to the city to pick up his new chair, and hilarious footage of Jansen wheeling around his new “vehicle”, his laughter ringing through the room, as the video played.
These, my friends, are life moments. Teachable moments. Hearts of compassion are built in these moments. If we take the time to share these moments with our children, they too will have hearts of compassion. They too will care.
I’d like to leave you with one last story, a story about Timmy. Sixteen year old Timmy. His parent’s only son. I never knew Timmy, we moved into town the week he died tragically in a car accident. Timmy’s parents and his only sister, Michelle lived and breathed his memory for the year and a half I knew them, but there was one story that has always stood out to me. One story that still speaks to me, and I have shared this with my own children (teachable moments). Timmy was a very good-looking boy, and he was very successful in Soccer. He was a true athlete, and very popular. That’s why it was a bit of a surprise to the family what happened when Timmy died. It must have been difficult beyond words to face the day of their only son’s funeral, but they received a gift they weren’t expecting. One by one, mentally challenged teenagers, physically challenged teenagers, and even socially challenged teenagers began filing by crying-all of them saying nearly the same thing-that Timmy was one of the only people that they knew that was kind to them. Apparently, this young athlete, cool beyond measure, also had a heart of gold. He was kind to those less fortunate-and not just kind…it turned out that Timmy had stood up for these kids when others bullied them. One boy said, “Timmy was my only friend…” Wow! You see, without even realizing it, Timmy’s family had raised him to care, and care he did. What a memory.
And that, my friends, conservative and liberal alike, is my challenge for you-and for me. I challenge you to find the teachable moments, and work to raise a new, caring generation. What a difference we can make, if one by one we send young people out into the world who have compassion. Because as we all know, children grow into teenagers, and before we know it, teenagers grow into adults. Just turn around, and they too will be raising children and, if we’ve done our job well, they will be looking for teachable moments, and raising kids who do care for their fellow-man.