Ever since I traded in my producing hat for stay-at-home mom I have become unplugged from the news, some days more than I would like. Thankfully my husband keeps me updated on the need-to-know stories, while social media does its fair share of at least letting me know the headlines. As easy as it is to go about my day focusing on my little domestic church it is still equally important to know what is happening in the universal Church, as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Knowing the battles around us allows us to pray and sacrifice for those in greatest need.
When I heard about what happened in New York, I immediately felt a pit in my stomach as I was corralling my three-year-old and kissing the cheeks of my one-year-old as I set him in his high chair. This was not exactly the news I wanted to hear as we sat down for family dinner. As I tried to process what I was hearing, my eight- and nine-year-olds began blurting out questions. They were clearly upset at what they heard. “This isn’t happening now, Mom, is it? Is this happening in a different country? Why don’t the police stop it? Why can’t the doctors be thrown in jail?”
It breaks my heart that my children are growing up in a culture where such a heinous act is allowed, legalized, promoted, and even celebrated with the lighting up of One WTC with pink lights. Lord, have mercy. Still I can’t completely shield my older sons from knowing the horror of what is happening. It is through our discussion that we teach them the value and dignity of every life from the moment of conception to natural death. In a society that says “my body, my choice,” they need to know the lie that the evil one is perpetuating and be rooted in the truth so to be able to defend life.
My first thought was a question: how could this happen? How, as a society, have we become so insensitive to the value of life that it is now legal to murder a full-term infant? Having had two high-risk pregnancies which required numerous ultrasounds, it is clearly visible to the naked eye that there is a separate, unique, fully alive, individual person sucking its thumb, stretching, and moving around. How, then, can science, medical professionals, and our legal system be so ignorant to deny this very fact?
One word: convenience.
What we are seeing happen in New York — and God forbid other states will probably try to follow — is merely a symptom of the culture we are living in. It is much more than a law; it is a reflection of our society. A shift in the cultural mindset, over time, has developed a love for convenience and selfishness and denied any form of sacrifice. Children are seen as a mere commodity, the disabled shunned if they cannot contribute, and the elderly considered a burden to be cared for: removing anything that stands in the path of the almighty “I.”
Just last week I was waiting for my van to get fixed with my two youngest, who happen to be a boy and a girl, when the couple sitting across from me began engaging in conversation. The wife started, “So you are done then?”
Taken back by that being the opening question to a conversation I said, “Excuse me?”
“You are done; you have a boy and a girl.”
I should have told her that this is only half of them; instead, I replied “Oh no, we are open to as many children God wants to give us.”
The husband chimed in, “So what, you are going to have eight or nine?”
The wife echoed her sentiment, “That is why I think you should just be done. You have a boy and a girl — why would you want any more?”
Shocked that this conversation is still going I replied, “They are such a gift and bring so much joy.”
We have all been there, our family size and sex life critiqued and discussed openly and casually by complete strangers. More than once hearing the comments, “You have your hands full,” or “My, you sure are busy.” The scoffs at the grocery store regardless of whether my toddler is having a meltdown or not, simply because I am above the quota 1.9 children. I would be remiss not to mention the glares during Mass, because my one-year-old is making a little noise.
Children are seen as an annoyance and nuisance simply because they do not conform to our perfect mold and false pretense. Convenience has become our god, dictating who should live or die: telling us who has value, who is worth keeping around, and who merely needs to be done away with. New York’s ruling didn’t happen overnight. As much as it has caused shock and awe, it is a reflection of the moral decline that has slowly eroded the consciences of many. The most valuable gifts we have been given seen as an inconvenience to society.
Ever since hearing the news my eight- and nine-year-olds have been praying for the protection of life during our evening prayers. God willing, someday they will see the end to abortion, but for now we have to engage in every corner of our life with truth spoken in love. We are the witnesses; we are the defenders of the sanctity of life, whether it be joining 40 Days for Life, praying daily for the protection of life, or simply sharing the inherent dignity of our children at the grocery store or auto-repair shop. Because it is more than just New York.
Copyright 2019 Cassie Everts