As pro-lifers, we know what we believe and fully comprehend the worthy cause that we are fighting for. The protection of life, from conception to natural death, is our collective mission statement. Recently, it has become increasingly apparent to me that as a movement, our focus is quite heavy on the conception side of the equation.
Hey, no finger wagging here. I get it. Babies are cute and cuddly. They dazzle us with their gassy smiles and velvet cheeks. And who among us isn’t completely enraptured by that new baby smell? The clever person who is able to capture that scent in a candle or air freshener certainly has my business. Images of tiny humans dot the prolife landscape of signs, t-shirts and profile pictures. And rightfully so. We love babies.
However, if we were as passionate about natural death as we are the conception part of our mantra, it would seem that our nation’s nursing homes would be overwhelmed with lifers begging to minister to their residents. They would be beating us off with sticks.
How many abortion advocates have you squared off with who rant about unwanted babies, smugly inquiring as to how many you’ve adopted? It seems to me that the same logic applies to the elderly. If we truly believe in the protection of life, from conception to natural death, then shouldn’t we as a movement also have a burden to care for the aged among us?
Again, I get it. Let’s be honest here, a nursing home can be a daunting place to visit. Initially, it’s about as much fun as a root canal. The smell can be overwhelming. It is one thing to change the messy diaper of a friend’s infant. Their ninety-year-old grandmother? That’s a whole different ball game. The whole scene makes us uncomfortable.
Beholding paper-thin skin and deeply wrinkled faces sends me on an instant mental road trip to my own impending golden years. The quickly gathering horde of crow’s feet around my eyes and gray hairs seem more menacing. Growing old is scary. Pretending it isn’t or won’t happen seems to work in the moment, so we go with that. Focusing on the unborn, or freshly born, is a much more pleasant business.
I wholeheartedly agree that unborn babies are society’s weakest and most vulnerable members and we must do everything in our power to defend them. I’m simply suggesting that the elderly population is a very close second. Should euthanasia become more prevalent in our society, they would be easy prey for the culture of death.
Perhaps we don’t all personally know of a woman dealing with a crisis pregnancy or an infant in need, but I am fairly certain that the vast majority of us have an aged person in our lives. The elderly often report feeling forgotten and lonely. Useless. They desire contact and connection with others. To know that their lives still hold value.
Many of us have insanely busy schedules. Our brains shut down at the very thought of weekly rotations at a nursing home or a commitment to Meals on Wheels. Lending a hand can be as simple as delivering some soup to a widow down the street, clearing an afternoon to spend with a rarely seen elderly family member, or simply picking up the phone. I promise that you will be the recipient, not the giver, of a blessing.
Me? I’m going to start by making a long overdue call to my grandma to set up a visit. Shame on me for waiting so long.
“You should stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man.
– Leviticus 19:32a