Friday, August 12, 2022

No accidents. . .

Accidents are unintended -- whether the sound of metal with the crash of a car or the food that inadvertently gets altered by the addition or omission of an ingredient from the recipe.  Some accidents are pleasant -- like when you stumble upon a wonderful restaurant behind a less than inviting building facade.  Some are terrible -- like when a gun goes off without intent and a body stiffens in pain.  In between are a thousand other variations of good and bad.  But they are all accidents.  Nobody saw it coming until it was there.

A life is no accident -- at least to God.  While we may be surprised when a sexual encounter results in pregnancy, we should not be.  Though sometimes parents speak of an unplanned pregnancy as an accident, it is not.  Life is not ours to control, not ours to create, and not ours to prevent.  It is the domain of God.  I think we have forgotten that.  We have coined terms that make it seem like life is within our reach -- an extension of our technological skill in the realm of reproduction.  It sounds so scientific but the words that we use from everything from in vitro to abort make it seem like it is controllable and we can be in charge.  That is the lie we have taught ourselves -- life is an accident and we can deal with this accident the way we might deal with any accident.  We can fix it so that it never happened or deal with it on its own terms.  What fools we have been.  Life is not an accident.

No human being is an accident, no conception a surprise or inconvenience to God -- though we might describe it as such from our perspective.  God is not some spectator who watches us decide, define, and delineate life.  The promise of sex is not revealed in pleasure but in the potential for life -- a potential we defer to God to define.  For the great mystery of life is that He knows what we do not.  He knows us before anyone else does.  He loves us when we were not even known to our mother or father.  That is the message of the great prophet:  Before I ever formed you in the womb I knew you (Jer 1:4).  The Lord created our being, knit us together in our mother’s womb, and breathed into us the breath of life.   When we give thanks to God for all the wonder of our being, only then can we begin to discover the full measure of this mystery.  He know our soul and body before we know ourselves.  He wrote into us all that we would be before we knew it.  We can have no secret from Him.  All of this is a wonder worthy of our meditation and appreciation and it begets a reverence for life that is profound.  Read Psalm 139. 

It is often a mystery to us why human life is conceived for some or at some times and not for others or at other times.  Hidden in that mystery is the realization that not every child in the womb is welcome, why some are born into terrible circumstance, poverty, disability, disadvantage, or unwanted.  To admit that the answer lies within the domain of sin does not make it logical to us or reason our way out of the pain of it all.  Faith is not built upon nice, neat little answers but upon the mystery revered and honored and believed.  We want to make it all simple and plain, logical and reasonable.  We want to believe that life can be controlled, prevented, or make possible at will.  To believe these things is to admit a lie which does nothing to honor life but everything to diminish it and turn it into something cheap.  Life is not cheap.  Not the child who miscarries in the womb and not the child who is killed in that same womb for the sake of inconvenience.  Life is precious.  We will not build anything lasting or good by diminishing life or by treating it as if it were nothing special.  It will only come back on us when our own lives can no longer be judged worth living or in pain we would do anything to keep from living another day.  The only surrender that matters is the one that trusts in the Word of the Lord and judges life not by what we see or want or desire but by God's will and purpose.

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