Tonight on the way home from work, I heard an interview on the radio. The lead-in was talking about a reporter investigating some strange circumstances surrounding a death.
Apparently, someone had called and told him that while in an abandoned building, they had discovered a body encased in a block of ice at the bottom of an elevator shaft. As the interview went on and the reporter described the case, he expressed how he wanted to bring some dignity to the deceased by burying the body properly.
His quote has been replaying in my head for the past couple of hours. "This was somebody's boy. Everybody is somebody's baby."
The interviewer repeated those words, faltering herself.
A small wave of emotion swept over me. If you're a parent, repeat those words out loud for yourself and you'll understand instantly.
Sit back and think for a minute.
There are wars raging on several continents this very minute. Genocides. Ethnic cleansings. Wholesale exterminations of millions of people because of their skin color, ethnicity, or religious beliefs. We're sending all our nation's kids to fight in places where we're not wanted for reasons that are unclear at best, and all we've got to show for it is a spiraling deficit and a wake of thousands of bodies--somebody's babies.
Hundreds of people in the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Political prisoners in China. Militia kidnapping victims in Columbia.
AIDS babies in Ethiopia. A cholera epidemic whipping through Zimbabwe. Children and farmers crippled by undiscovered mines in Cambodia and Vietnam, leftover from another generation's unrest.
So many Christians are passionate about the pro-life arguments. "50 million abortions since Roe V. Wade." "Life begins at conception."
I'm all for protecting the unborn innocents. But what about the ones that make it out of the womb? Why do we care so disproportionately for those in utero? If we are so damned concerned about life and how it begins at conception, why don't we care about when and where it ends?
We'll rally against the rescinding of the Mexico City policy, but we won't lift a finger for the kids in the Gaza strip being killed by Israeli tanks. We'll hold marches on the Hill on the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, but won't organize a canned food drive for crack babies in Baltimore. We'll chant witty slogans like "be a hero--save a whale; save a baby, go to jail," but won't serve chili at a homeless shelter or make goodie baskets for our troops in Afghanistan.
We'll pray that God will send help for hurricane or tsunami victims. Where's that help going to come from? Someone has to go. Praying that God will comfort those who've lost loved ones is great, but as a pastor friend of mine once said, sometimes the world needs God with some skin on 'em.
When's the last time you volunteered at an orphanage or senior center? Taken in a family who lost their home to foreclosure? Those lives are valuable, too. All those forgotten kids, all those abandoned elderly, all those dirty, smelly, homeless people.
Everybody is somebody's baby.
Filed from my Windows Mobile® phone.