This phrase itself is interesting to me: thrown away.
If you read the article below, you’ll see that a man described this baby found in Washington State as “tossed away like nothing.”
I’m not saying that his observation is inaccurate. The child was just tossed into a ditch, left along the side of a road wrapped in a blanket. What I question, however, is what this child’s mother was thinking. Was she making a conscious decision when throwing away her child? Did she consider her child to be “nothing” and worthy of such a short life?
I don’t know. We might never truly understand, and anyway, is it for us to judge? I know I have my own things to be looked at with scrutiny and God is all over that. Or should we learn from what happened, and try to prevent it from occurring to another child, another desperate mother?
Yes, those of us who are parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are abhorred. Anyone who is intoxicated by a newborn’s smell and soft skin can’t imagine what in the world this lady was thinking. It’s unimaginable.
That’s the point, though, right? This is without rationale. A hospital was just down the road. It’s puzzling. Yet, background knowledge is critical here. Was she being abused? If she had a baby, would she and her child’s life be in danger? Was she so young and terrified that she didn’t even know what to do/where to turn/how to process the enormity of the situation?
These are things we can help with before a newborn is found in a ditch, wrapped in a blanket, dead.
We have the opportunity to educate, to be a light, to let these moms know there is another way, there is another option. The Safe Haven program was developed for a reason, and those who know about it, want to rewind the clock, be able to walk up to this woman and help her: to give her and her child a chance.
I don’t believe she thought her child was nothing. I don’t believe that she thought she would just throw it away. I believe she probably was lost, scared and alone. How does she feel today? At this moment? Wow.. that is something to ponder.
And here’s the thing: haven’t we all felt that way at one time? Scared? Confused? It’s human. It’s life. I always have been lucky enough to be surrounded by friends, family and resources to help me through those times. I had a situation just this week where I was full of anxiety, and I was not alone for a second. I am blessed.
When we realize that we have the opportunity, and even more so, the responsibility, to be the blessing for those we may not even know, the world will see less babies thrown in ditches. This mom needed a blessing. She needed a Safe Haven. While she did the wrong thing, she is someone who desperately is calling out for love and needs a big serving of grace along with it.
Our pastor has been preaching from Paul’s letter to the Philippians lately, and wow, God is amazing when he weaves things together.
“Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection on mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” Philippians 2:1-3
I know the Wisconsin group, Safe Place for Newborns, has done recent research on this topic. The coordinator has spent time with women who have left their babies to perish, and is doing a great work for the surrounding community. To learn more about her efforts, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Place-for-Newborns-of-Wisconsin/85757952188
Thanks for helping me continue the Safe Haven conversation. I know that my life is so gloriously ruined because of this law and my prayer is for others to be too!