I was praying at an abortion clinic today for 40 Days for Life, and I was feeling somewhat hopeless. Even though during the day two women that went to the clinic had changed their minds, I kept thinking about the ones that didn’t, and the other thousands of babies being murdered every day, and just sensing my inadequacy and inability to do anything to save most of them.
Later on, I was brought to tears when I read this post, Defining Success, on one of my favorite blogs, the Little Flower Projects, which never fails to inspire me. Often times, pro-lifers are accused of only caring about babies before they are born, and not doing anything for them or their families after they are born. That is simply not true… and that’s why I love this blog… because in the middle of Northern China, one of the most notoriously anti-life places in the world, these beautiful little babies—with some very serious health problems… heart abnormalities, brain tumors, malnourishment, and other crippling conditions—babies who, because of their disabilities are prime targets for abortion in our culture—continue to fight for life with the aid of a small group of wonderful, anonymous people who are dedicating their lives to giving them the love and care they need and deserve. (If you would like to learn more about the China Little Flower Mission I would encourage you to check out their website, or follow them on Facebook or their blog, where they frequently update about the children they’re taking care of… I’m sure you will be just as inspired and touched by them as I constantly am!) Anyway, this is an older blog post, but I still want to share it with you, and I hope that it inspires you in your efforts to defend life as it did me.
This baby, named Zhen Hong, was born premature, malnourished, and dehydrated, and when she came to the China Little Flower’s home for preemies, they seriously doubted that she would survive… but they still did the best they could to take care of her, and she made such dramatic improvements over just a few days, as you can see in these photographs, that they soon became convinced she would survive.
And yet, they describe that:
very suddenly, just a week after she arrived, she died. Not only were we sad, we felt shocked and disappointed; she had been doing so well. What went wrong? We felt like we failed her.
Later, we were going through the photos and remembering her. Seeing the photos and comparing her day by day changes it suddenly became clear. Her death was not our failure, because we do not control life and death. Only God has that power. But our success is clearly written on her face. She arrived in a state of distress and discomfort; over the next few days, you can see peace and serenity washing over her tiny features.
Reading this reflection on Baby Hong’s life made me realize a valuable thing… that even for the babies that are not saved from abortion by our efforts, our efforts still make a difference specifically to them.
Ultimately, we all want to see every baby given the chance to live, because that’s what they deserve. However, even on the many occasions when women DON’T change their minds about having an abortion despite our best efforts, that doesn’t mean that our efforts were in vain, or a failure. One of the greatest tragedies of abortion is that it is precisely in the womb of his mother, which should be the safest place in the world, that an innocent child is betrayed and killed by the very people who should be protecting him and loving him the most.
That’s where our efforts to defend and fight for each one of them—even when it does not result in the changed heart of the mother and that baby still is aborted—matter. When we stand outside of abortion clinics praying, or when we do anything to try to promote life, we are LOVING each of those children, giving them just a little bit of the love they deserved, giving a testimony to their innate dignity as unique human lives.
Be convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt that those babies will know someday that you cared about them, that you wanted them to live, that you loved them, even without really knowing them… that they MATTERED to someone. That by itself is one of the greatest injustices against victims of abortion… that they were treated as if they did not matter, which, of course, is not true. They did, and do, matter, and so our every effort to show them, and the world, that truth is significant all by itself. As this blog post concluded about Baby Hong:
It was not the outcome that we’d hoped and prayed for. But in God’s plan for baby Hong we did succeed. She knew love and comfort before she went home to be with Him. Who could ask for more than that?
Of course, our ultimate goal in fighting abortion and defending life is to stop it, to give every human person the chance to live, which is their inalienable right. But simply our loving them, even the ones that do die, is important in and of itself. Every single expression of love towards them does something, in some small way, to make up for some of the injustice they suffered by not being loved by the people that should have loved them the most — their own parents.
My hope is that this story will encourage you if you ever feel that your efforts to defend life are hopeless. They are not. Be inspired by Baby Hong, and all of these little children fighting for life in China. None of your efforts, none of your acts of love, are insignificant!