One of the rights our modern age demands is the right to declare that certain lives are not worth living. In utero testing sometimes reveals the possibility or even the certainty of birth defects. Abortion is often recommended to mothers who carry “defective” children and sometimes that recommendation becomes pressure. It is said that almost 90% of families who receive a poor pre-natal diagnosis choose to abort.
And yet there are so many stories of people who have overcome enormous obstacles and who live full and rich lives. Some are missing limbs, others are blind, still others struggle with disease. Some have overcome poverty and injustice, others paralyzing accidents or great tragedies. And they are living witnesses to us that we ought never be the judge of what lives are worthwhile and what lives are “not worth” living. It is true that none of us would wish to be born missing limbs, or blind or in poverty, or with chronic conditions. But we must reverence those who are, learn to appreciate their gifts, and summon them to courage and greatness.
We must declare with great certitude that there is no such thing as a life not worth living. We say this not as some politically correct slogan but rather with firm conviction that every human life is willed by God. We were willed before we were made for the Scriptures say, “Before I ever formed you in the womb I knew and I appointed you…” (Jer 1:4). None of us is an accident nor are our gifts and apparent deficits mistakes. We exist as we are, the way we are for a purpose, a purpose for us and for others. We all have an irreplaceable role in God’s kingdom and show forth aspect of His glory uniquely. Every human life is intended and is worth living because God says so by the very fact that we exist.
If this past week has taught us anything it is that the human person is sacred and that life is something worth living and worth fighting for. There was death, but there was also heroism. There are also those who, despite serious injury, have fought to come back and seek recovery. Further, there are those who join them in the medical profession and in their families who also struggle and fight to bring them that healing. This is resilience, this is strength, this is the truth that life is worth living.
The following videos show forth the resilience of the human person and give powerful witness to the fact that life is worth living. You may not have time to view them all now but I hope you’ll come back and see them all. That is why I post this over a weekend. Despite trials and setbacks all these individuals show forth the power and glory of God working though our human struggles. We might not choose the struggles they have for ourselves but we need to see that their lives are full and proclaim the dignity and resilience of the human person.
Here is the story of John Bramblitt who, though blind is a fine painter indeed.
Here is the story of Abby & Brittany, Conjoined twins born in 1990. The title of the video is “Joined for Life.” Abby says at the end of the video, “The best thing in the world about being conjoined twins is that there’s always someone to talk to and you’re never alone.”
Here’s the story of Nick Vujicic a man with no arms or legs who is a motivational speaker. He likes to say that he went from having a life without limbs to a life without limits.
I have posted this video of Patrick Henry Hughes before. Blind and crippled from birth he manifests a profound musical ability.