Truth telling for Moms

I’m a mom who daily lives under a rock of guilt and failure.

I haven’t given my six-year-old siblings to play with.

 I haven’t worked hard enough (or at all) today on his developmental skills.

 He’s spending too much time in front of electronics.

 I could do this all day.

 

I don’t know if it’s because Jesse has Autism and is an only child that I put this added pressure on myself, or if all moms do this. I suspect we each have our areas we struggle in, the lies we tell ourselves. When I stop the merry-go-round of all the ways I’m failing as a mom, God is gracious to help me fight with truth.

IMG_5607IMG_5593img_7346

The truth is, my son operates differently than other kids and so his activities and interests will look different as well. The truth is, I’m doing a great job as his mom, but I’m not perfect either. God knows this. The Lord didn’t wait until I had my act together before He gave me a son. It is in the process of raising him that I am sanctified!

The truth is, I am already “enough” as a mom, wife, friend and woman because Christ is enough and He lives in me. Condemnation has no place here. When I remember this, I breathe easier again, my shoulders begin to relax and I get to enjoy my son instead of focusing on all the ways I don’t measure up.

IMG_5726

 

If I stay hunkered down in guilt, I can’t clearly see the amazing blessings right in front of me. God holds out this wonderful gift and I reject not only the gifts of freedom and joy, but God Himself when I’m wrapped up in my own shortcomings.

Mom life is hard, but the truth is He gave you and me specific children, with distinct personalities and skills, to love, nourish, and raise for His glory. We get to teach them about the Lord who is our life.

             Our kids are gifts to enjoy, little lessons to learn from, means of sanctification. Preach this truth to yourself today when you feel like waving the white flag. God gives us the privilege and responsibility to care for the least of these, right in our own tribe.

It first starts with us loving Him as our ultimate treasure. That’s the place where we parent well and do anything well. Our relationship and growing love for the Lord will overflow on whatever else we put our hands to do today. We learn that even when we mess up or they do, there is grace and forgiveness extended vertically and horizontally. We start to live the message of the cross and that is the truth we need to tell ourselves everyday.

 

Grace upon grace,

April

 

 

Missional Summertime

lightstock_342678_download_medium_april_box_

This summer is already the best one yet as a mom who is now turning the corner to having a “big kid”. It is also the hardest, by far. His five-year-old curiosity and energy level daily leaves toys littered on every surface in the house. The floors stay dirty and the laundry list of things to do besides the actual laundry is high. I just have one child, but he always seems to be right under me – like in the kitchen, while I’m making dinner – when kids have the ability to multiply themselves to be everywhere at once.

In the school year there is more time to myself, so the summer schedule is taking some adjustment. But I love it. My little guy and I get to set our own itinerary (aside from naps, those are still essential) and we step out the door exploring our own backyard, neighborhood, and hometown. Days are filled with lingering at the local botanical garden, swimming at the Y, visiting the playground and trips to our library, which has an awesome children’s section.

IMG_5852IMG_5726IMG_5855

It’s a balance of playing with him, getting regular housework done (or attempting to), and still trying to maintain my sanity, staying human. Jesse is learning to entertain himself more, which is huge. But because he is an only child I want to make sure we have time together. In a lot of ways at this stage I am his main friend/playmate. It won’t always be like this so it takes effort to be cognizant, soaking it in.

Yes some days are super hard. I’m exhausted, he’s tired, it’s too hot outside and patience wears thin as whining rises high. Yes, on those days I just want to go be by myself in a room with some great air conditioning.

But that isn’t the whole story.

Other days, sometimes in the same day, are magical moments – pure childhood fun.

We take walks; he holds my hand. We set up the plastic pins to bowl in the kitchen alley, followed by eruptions of cheer. He cools off in the sprinkler, enjoying it for the first time this year and I sit back watching him marvel over the simple things.

Growing up I took those summers for granted, thinking I’d have them always. There is something unique about this season for a child. It is a time of transition, growing up, learning by play.

IMG_5854IMG_5833

Moms, the struggle is real and I’m not minimizing that, but I know I too often suck the joy out of each day with my complaining. We set the tone for our homes and if the kids see us short-tempered and even resentful, they’ll get the message.

Summertime is actually harder than the rest of the year, but its priceless time too. You and I have the opportunity to pour into their sponge-like minds and impressionable young hearts. Parents have the classroom 24/7 right now. What do you want them to learn from you in these few short months? What will they take away from this summer?

I’m finding that the reason this season is challenging stems from learning to daily die to self. Moms feel like they are constantly giving of themselves – making breakfast, picking up toys so we don’t break our necks, grocery shopping, sharpening our parenting skills, trying to make wise decisions on the fly.

I know you want to honor the Lord in how you raise your kids. I know you want them to love Jesus like you do. I know you hope your little ones (or maybe not so little anymore) will love God’s Word. And all of this begins with our example. The responsibility feels heavy, but also freeing as we live into the identity Christ gave us. Motherhood is our ministry; our families are the people we serve. Do they see Jesus in us? This summer, you have that time.

lightstock_155376_download_medium_april_box_

All women, whether you have children of your own or not, have the joy of missional motherhood:

“Every Christian woman is called to the spiritual motherhood of making disciples of all nations.”

-Gloria Furman

We have a great opportunity during the summer months, when life is slower, and pockets of time are free. I hope you don’t get caught in a rut like I have recently of hurrying these next few weeks along. I don’t want to just meet my son’s outward needs of food and clothing, or just marking time. I want to get to his heart too. But you and I can’t do this alone. Ask the Lord to help you. Ask Him to provide strength each day. The most important thing we can teach the children in our care is to show them Jesus.

IMG_5779

Gloria Furman, author of Missional Motherhood, writes, “Jesus invites women to missional motherhood to follow His pattern, to trust His promises, and to nurture others by the power He provides.” The best sermon we can preach is the one lived out at home. There are a little over a dozen summers you have with your kids before they lose that valuable freedom. Use it well and enjoy the very good gift of childhood summers.

 

Grace upon grace,

April

 

All About April

Happy April!

I realize the obnoxious use of self in the title however the post really is all about the month. It just also happens to be my name. Never pass up a good pun, friends.

This month’s finds are for the cook who would just like to press the ‘easy’ button every now and then, family celebrations, the lost art of penmanship and the best DIY show ever. Enjoy!

15-frugal-crockpot-recipes.png

  1. The Frugal Girls

It’s 3pm and you have no clue what you’re going to feed your tribe for dinner. Why do they need to eat every. single. day?…(half kidding). So your culinary skills are spent and you need an easy fix. Go to The Frugal Girls immediately and never worry about dinner problems ever again. (And all the moms rejoice!). The Frugal Girls offer tons of easy, affordable, crockpot recipes. Trust me, you’ll be a rock star and your family will thank you for feeding them tonight.

podcastlogo12

  1. God Centered Mom Podcast

I’ve mentioned before how I love the Mom Struggling Well podcast. Well, Emily Thomas recently recommended another one on her show called the God Centered Mom. It has blessed me you guys. I think any mom, regardless of what season she is in can benefit from podcasts like these. I hope you give them both a try and that you are encouraged as well.

maxresdefault

  1. The Master Penman

Apparently the art of penmanship is a fading art due to the modern world of technology. Kids don’t learn to craft their writing when laptops are available in every classroom from a wee age. Jake Weidmann is one of twelve Master Penmen in the world and he is also the youngest by three decades.

Maybe it’s the writer in me that is so fascinated by this. I still write out my posts first with pen and paper. Take a look at this very skilled artist and how he wields a pen.

51X0mX4Bg9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

  1. Autism Breakthrough by Raun Kaufman

I’m open on my blog about having a son on the autism spectrum. Since April is Autism Awareness month I thought I’d share a book I’ve just read. This book is an insightful read into the mind of an autistic child.

It’s a gem for parents or any friend or family member who has a loved one on the spectrum. Raun Kaufman established the Autism Treatment Center of America under The Son-Rise Program. He is witty and a great cheerleader for our kids! Kaufman recalls having autism as a child and how his parents helped him overcome his challenges – as in cured.

I promise this book isn’t hokey. He offers techniques and activities to help, but most importantly your attitude as the parent. Kaufman encourages parents to “[see] your child’s abilities rather than focusing on supposed deficiencies” (p. 268).

If you know someone who could use encouragement with an autistic child, maybe wrap this one up as a special gift just for them.

IMG_5327

  1. Surprises and celebrations

April is a big month of partying in my family. My grandfather, aunt, and dad all have birthdays this month crammed into one week. Squeeze into that Jason’s and my anniversary. Jesse’s birthday is about a week later.

What made this one special is my dad turning 60 and throwing him a surprise party at his favorite restaurant (Cracker Barrel anyone?). Mom managed to keep it a secret and got him there none the wiser. Family and friends came to help celebrate and the look on dad’s face was priceless when he walked in.

Another milestone was Jesse turning a whole hand. So we decided to go big this year. We haven’t done huge birthday parties in the past, because it’s been a mercurial thing for our little guy. He has had trouble in the past with hearing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song and any kind of cheering or candles. This year? This year a blessing happened. The party went off without a hitch and we. sang. to. him. We sang our sweet boy ‘Happy Birthday’ as he stood on a chair to see everyone, wearing his birthday crown (another miracle).

Celebrating life moments are important. It doesn’t always have to be flashy and spectacular. Sometimes it can be. What matters are the people we honor and how we make them feel on their special moments. Loving others well looks like keeping a surprise secret, showing up, birthday cake, balloons, hugs, the gift of laughter, and food of course.

600x600bb-85

  1. Fixer Upper

I recently started watching this show and concluded one thing. I am definitely not a DIY girl, but sure enjoy sitting on my couch watching others transform something blah into spectacular. Chip and Joanna Gaines are so adorable with each other too. This show on HGTV (or Netflix, yay!) is worth watching just to hear Chip’s quirky quips and antics (one time he ate a cockroach) or see Joanna’s flawless taste in interior design.

 

What are things you’re into this month? Did you have things to celebrate or occasions to remember? Hopefully it was a good month for you as well. Looking forward to walking through May with you. What is the saying, “spring comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”? I think we’re at the lamb part you guys. Press on into May!

 

You are not alone

FullSizeRender-2

Something I have been fairly open about on here is my trial with infertility. For me it is known as secondary infertility since my husband and I have one biological son. 1 in 8 couples experience difficulty in conceiving or sustaining a pregnancy according to a recent study from the National Survey of Family Growth*. It isn’t talked about so these couples grieve in silence. Something that caught my attention a few months ago was that this problem is not something dealt with just in the United States. I wrote a piece on secondary infertility and it was the most widely read post, reaching to places like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and South Africa. The frustration and isolation is felt worldwide.

This is why we need each other. You and I are not alone in this. Our valley of infertility may not look the same, but the giants that threaten to slay us there sure seem similar: doubt, fear, anger, and self-pity. Sometimes it is hard to know who is going through this invisible pain. I catch myself wondering why the woman with a seven year old doesn’t have any more children. It is certainly none of my business, but could it be that instead of rushing to a conclusion (or judgment) I could have compassion instead? What if she would love nothing more than to have the pitter-patter of little feet all around her? What if she doesn’t? In any case, my response could make all the difference to her heart. In my own struggle with infertility I am trying to remember to give grace to other women with similar heartache.

That is why I am proud to partner with the Scarlet & Gold Shop in their ‘Give Grace’ campaign. It is a way for women struggling with infertility to come together and show grace to one another in the burdens they carry. Those battle scars can’t ever heal by keeping them buried. After awhile the Band-Aids become stale and just hang there serving no purpose but to hide a wound.

FullSizeRender

I think men and women process their infertile reality in different ways, but perhaps women feel it more deeply. In 1 Samuel, even Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, didn’t quite understand her sadness because she couldn’t have children. Wasn’t he enough, he asked? Yes and no. The desire for children is God given and there is no shame in that. Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, knew how much Hannah suffered because of infertility. Instead of deciding to be a friend and comfort her, Peninnah heaped onto Hannah’s heartache by provoking her barren womb.

One of the names of God that gives me great comfort is ‘Immanuel’, which means, “God with us”. As a Christian His very Presence is always with me. That means that I am not left to myself to fight the giants. He holds out His Hand to lead through all the twists and turns. As God becomes my strength He gives me eyes to see others around me in the valley. We begin to form a grace chain holding hands with each other as we hold onto Immanuel.

IMG_4877

Giving grace to another might look like sharing your story first. Help someone to know they are not alone. If you are not part of this “Club” that no one wants to be in, maybe pray for us? Some may be more sensitive than others when it comes to your words, baby announcements, and baby showers, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need you to encourage us. And even when we have a hard time of it, we still love that you have children and that you are pregnant again, because we love you – and life is beautiful, always.

It is a funny thing learning to be content in the present circumstances while still longing for a baby. There can be streams of joy down in the valley when you realize that you aren’t alone. You do not have to walk this journey alone.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)

You and I have Immanuel, God with us, and we never have to fear what the future holds when He holds the future.

Grace upon grace,

April

IMG_4813

GIVEAWAY!!!: Aren’t the gold tattoos so pretty? I loved mine! If you would like to have one of the Give Grace tattoos for yourself here is your opportunity.

If you or a loved one has experienced infertility please write in 2-3 sentences what ‘Give Grace’ means to you. Email me at littlelitterateur@gmail.com to enter to win. Include your name and mailing address as well.

Two winners will be chosen and you will receive 2 gold temporary tattoos, one for you and one for a friend who needs encouragement.

The giveaway will start Tuesday, February 2nd and end Tuesday, February 9th at midnight.

I would also like to invite you to checkout the ‘Give Grace’ collection from the Scarlet & Gold Shop online at www.scarletandgoldshop.com.

You can follow them on Instagram too! : @scarletandgoldshop

Notes:

* 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth CDC; http://www.resolve.org

Questions & Boxing

480813165   Sometimes my desires don’t line up with God’s plans for me. Sometimes the unexpected life turns are welcome and other times I question Him. Facing the reality of secondary infertility I wonder, how can the desire for another child be so wrong? Why does everything have to be so difficult? Why does life have to be so hard?

Forgive my cheesy analogy, but life is like a boxing match. I get in the ring with my opponent, Life, and throw some punches. I can take most of the punches too. Then there is that one blow that knocks me off my feet, flat on the ground. Do I eventually get up again, start the circle dance with my gloves back up in a fighting stance? Or do I just need to lie there like a dead fish and wave the white flag?

I think the Sovereign Lord does give us more than we can handle sometimes, for one reason: to rely on Him. It is not in my strength that I keep persevering, keep hoping, keep believing, and keep loving. It is in His strength, through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me. Paul talks about his hardships being unbearable in his letter to the church in Corinth. He writes:

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us,” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NIV).

I am not strong enough to go toe to toe with Life all by myself. Jehovah is strong and He is willing. All I have to do is loosen my grip on the “what I want” and instead embrace, “not my will, but Yours be done”. Just as He spoke directly into Paul’s pain saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Cor. 12:9 NIV), the Shepherd of my soul whispers these loving words into my heart.

The Father works through submissive servants. If my will does not align with His, there will be struggle and the Spirit’s power in me is stifled. God wants my obedience and trust more than He wants my ideas. He lovingly spells it out in Scripture because God knows we need to see His promises in black and white (sometimes red) right in front of our face. That is why He has given us His words as gentle reminders of Who is really in control. He also shows us that He isn’t a cruel dictator either, but uses the living Word to woo us to Himself.

When we realize that God Almighty is the absolute best thing for us, we can rest assured that His plans are too. We do not have to pace back and forth, wringing our hands wondering if the Lord’s way of doing things is right, because it always is. When I start to get upset because my life is not going exactly how I pictured it, I can find comfort in these words of love:

“You keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3)

“Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to Me; hear Me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:2-3)

“ ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways’, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8)

“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart’” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

sb10067337z-001           So yes, I would still love to have more kids but right now for whatever reason God has said ‘no’ at least to biological children. He asks us to walk by faith, not by sight. He calls us to continue to trust in what we already know of Him- God is Good, Sovereign, Holy, Loving, Pure, Just, True and Faithful. I fight in His strength and not my own, but I have to be an obedient vessel, pliable in the Hands of God. In the end, hopefully I can echo Paul’s words:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV).

When I don’t understand life circumstances, when I feel too weak to stand, when Life pelts me to the ground, I look up. His Hand reaches down to lift me up. He tells me to get behind Him as He acts as my Shield. I am not fighting alone, and I never have to.

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:17-18 NIV).

Grace upon grace,

April

 

There is Grace

511939471         Saturday was a national day of protest against Planned Parenthood in light of the atrocities many have seen from the undercover videos released. I attended the one in my city and for the most part it was a peaceful demonstration for those who were there to defend the defenseless. There were a handful of pro-abortion supporters who came to deter us and drown out speeches, prayer, and hymn singing with shouting and loud music. Ironically it was music that demeans and degrades women. I saw their hostility and ugly signs and then it hit me. My heart breaks over the murder of unborn babies, but also for them. I cried behind my sunglasses seeing their anger, ultimately their hatred of God. Whispering prayers aloud (probably looking a little crazy), pleading with God to have mercy on their souls, to soften hearts, to save them, and break the heavy chains of unbelief. If only they knew the freedom Jesus gives.

We all need the life redeeming, death crushing, soul saving, and beautiful Gospel message of Jesus Christ. He is the One who rescues a condemned soul from the gates of Hell. Christians cannot change the mind of a pro-abortion fan until our Savior changes their heart. Only He has the power to do that. I realized then that it is not an “us versus them” mentality. It is not strictly about who wins the argument more than it is about believers speaking truth into the heart of the hardened when opportunity arises. Speaking words of wisdom and love, acting in kindness.

Grace and love are two of my favorite words because of Who and what they represent. If I am to be like Christ then I must practice these actions to others on a daily basis. Is it easy? Nope. Especially to those I feel don’t deserve it. But the truth is, none of us deserved God’s grace and forgiveness, and He freely gave it to us anyway wrapped up in salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ words are recorded in Luke 6 when He says, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you […] If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that […] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-28; 32-33; 36 NIV).

John Newton is the man who penned the famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’, in collaboration with William Cowper. What led Newton to write these words is a remarkable journey in itself. As a young man he was forced into the British Royal Navy. After a failed attempt to escape his fate, Newton was publicly flogged and demoted. He then requested a transfer aboard a slave ship. On the coast of Sierra Leone Newton was abandoned by his crew and became a servant of a harsh slave trader where he was relentlessly abused.

Newton was not a believer at this point and in fact led a rebellious life. He kept running from God, but the Lord continued to pursue him through various circumstances. One of those times occurred during a violent storm out at sea which threatened to sink the ship. Newton was captain of his own ship by now, and he was heavily involved in slave trade. In a moment of desperation he cried out for God’s mercy on him. He would later recall that moment in his life as a spiritual turning point. The wheels of grace began turning.

He continued working as a slave trader until 1754 after an illness caused him to hang up his seafaring ways for good. Newton applied for the Anglican priesthood in 1757 and became minister at Olney in Buckinghamshire in 1764. During this period of Newton’s life he met and befriended figures who had great impact on his spiritual growth- George Whitefield, John Wesley, and William Cowper to name a few. John Newton began to regret his time as a slave trader and recounted its horrors in tracts. He describes in detail the conditions of the ships and the life of a slave aboard the ship. Newton became an avid supporter and influencer in the abolition movement because of his personal experience and spiritual convictions.

‘Amazing Grace’ is a summation of his past life before Christ and the continued work of grace even after salvation. These are the first 3 verses to the beloved hymn:

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

 

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

 

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.’

I do not minimize the sin of those who favor pro-abortion but I do maximize the truth of the Gospel because there is grace. There is forgiveness. There is redemption found in Jesus Christ alone. This is what is needed more than anything else. The tide of abortion can change with one heart at a time repenting and knowing Jesus as Savior.

“Then did the dead heart begin to beat,

the darkened eye glimmer with light,

the dull ear catch thy echo,

and I turned to thee and found thee,

a God ready to hear, willing to save […]

Then didst thou come to me in silken robes of love,

and I saw thy Son dying that I might live,

and in that death I found my all.

My soul doth sing at the remembrance of

that peace; […]

Grant that I may always weep to the praise of

mercy found,

and tell to others as long as I live,

that thou art a sin-pardoning God,

taking up the blasphemer and the ungodly,

and washing them from their deepest stain.”

(‘The Great Discovery’, The Valley of Vision, p. 112-3)

Grace upon grace,

April

A Human(e) Proposal

128559951Consider the following quotes by pro-choice advocate Ms. Mary Elizabeth Williams. Her article is titled ‘So what if abortion ends a life?’.

“I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice.”

“… I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.”

“Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal […] a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.”

Wow.

So…yeah, Ms. Williams and her like-minded followers are gripping harder to their position for pro-choice. They are also acknowledging the fact that life does indeed begin at conception. If she and others like her affirm this, then they knowingly and willingly kill human life. In fact they defend it and promote it. This is how hardened our hearts can be, and if it were not for the grace of God who is to say that you or I would think the same way in our unbelieving, unregenerate, depraved state? We are not any better except God’s mercy has been bestowed upon us.

Pro-choice advocates are no longer dancing around the terms cloaked in vagueness about abortion. It is very matter-of-fact, unapologetically saying, ‘yes, I see that this is a baby, so what?’ These people love to play God and are under the illusion that they are in “control” of the womb. How sadly mistaken they are! If a pro-choice supporter agrees that creation made in the secret place of a womb is life, a human, a future man or woman, then it seems to me that there are a lot of holes left in their position. Now I am not a rocket scientist, brain surgeon, or frankly the brightest light bulb, but if an abortion fan supports murdering life in the womb, why stop there? Why not extend it to two year olds, five year olds, and 85 year olds? All in the name of “research” of course. You get to choose who is expendable.

Ever read Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal? It is satire in which the speaker comes up with a “solution” to help the over populated lower class. He suggests that they have those children, plumping them up to be nice and tender, ready for sale by one year of age to be sold to the rich…to be eaten. The subtitle reads: for Preventing the Children of poor People in Ireland from being a Burden to their Parents or Country; and for making them beneficial to the Publick. Overpopulation problem solved. Now readers definitely see the absurdity in this, but are we not too far off from it? We certainly do not eat children we just maim, dismember, and sell off their body parts. That is, if we decide not to crush them and rather succeed at keeping a child “intact”. Genetic research problem solved.

Who gives us that right to see to it that some babies are treated like lab rats while others are given the privilege to live? Answer: We don’t have that right to say who lives and who dies. It is the height of hubris and wickedness of man. And yet just as the nameless speaker in A Modest Proposal calmly advocates cannibalism for the sake of the economy, abortionists rationalize murder for the sake of scientific research. Swift “indicts the English for inhumanity, the Irish for passivity, and the economically oriented proposer of remedies for moral blindness” (1). I would boldly say that the abortionists are inhumane, the Christians passive and the pro-choice supporters morally blind.

Christians are not living out their call to love well if we look the other way on this issue. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:6-7 NIV). What are we to protect, trust in, hope in, and persevere in? Love. Followers of Jesus love well when we are protectors of truth. Part of that truth means believing in the value and sanctity of each life. This is what the psalmist says about the Creator of Life when He made each of us: “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body” (Psalm 139:15-16). So what are we do to? What is required of us? That is also found in Scripture. Micah 6:8 says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (NIV). This is the calling on our lives for those who passionately love, serve, and belong to Christ. Seek justice for those who cannot do it themselves, and to live in a way that represents mercy on our fellow man, all created in the image of God. And best of all, we walk in fellowship with the Lord, humbly serving Him, acknowledging that He is Sovereign over all. Live it out brothers and sisters, in grace, in love, in truth.

Grace upon grace,

April

Notes:

  1. The Norton Anthology: Western Literature, 8th ed., vol. 2, 291; 341-47.