Who can put a value on human life? Who can decide this one lives and that one does not? How is it determined whose life has more merit? We are like grains of sand – one among a multitude of grains. But how does God decide which one is left on the beach and which is swept in the sea? One is not more important than the other. If one grain is left for years, it is not more valuable than the one that remains for only a day.
So it is with us. Just as all grains of sand, long-lasting or not, are valuable in His eyes, so one who lives a day is as important as the one who dies an aged man. Why? How can this be? The good Lord does not measure value in human terms. He measures with infinite wisdom and love. The child who lives a day, minute, second has purpose equal to the one of many years.
We are all made in God’s image, (Genesis 1:27), therefore, no “image” of him can be wrong. No image must reach a certain age or status to be esteemed. This makes all equally precious in His eyes, (Isaiah 43:4).
Man cannot determine who is of value and who is not. Man is not made in man’s image, but God’s. “I have engraved you from the palms of my hands,” (Isaiah 49:16). Man also cannot proclaim which persons, young or old, have the right to life and which do not. We cannot foresee God’s plans. We do not know what the unborn infant will become in life, but God knows and had a definite plan for this person.
The same is true of end of life. Only God can determine when it is time to call someone home or when by His plan, he needs to remain on earth. Each has a purpose, even if we cannot see this.
I pondered these things recently while dealing with birth and death. How precious is life at all stages, conception to natural death. A helpless infant is vital to the world because he has the power to open hardened hearts. Who is not attracted to a little infant? They are so trusting and receptive. Their smiles are ready for mom and dad as well as others. This is God’s purpose. Jesus did not come to the world as a grown man, but as a defenseless infant. He opened our hearts by His very birth. So we continue this revealing of hearts through all babies.
The young family that is struggling is just as cherished as the infant. The family also has the ability to illicit love from others. In its dire need, compassionate souls rush to the aid of the needy family. They have become Christ to them. They have become a light to the world.
In addition, the sick and aged man or woman is indeed precious to God and the world. They impart wisdom to the young. Even when they breathe their last, the aged have enormous merit. They too are a reflection of the living and suffering Christ. Aged people show us how to live and how to die with the hope of heaven in their eyes and hearts.
What is the lesson here? Protect life at all stages. It is a gift from God. It is not ours to give or take; that is up to God. However, it is ours to love and esteem. As we celebrate life, especially this month during Right to Life marches; let us not forget to protect the life of others made in His image.
One grain of sand seems to be identical to another grain, but in God’s eyes, each is unique. We are all human, but unique. Live life, protect life, value life. As Jesus says, “Even all the hairs on your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:30-31). Ven. Fulton Sheen agreed as host of, “Life is worth living!”
Copyright 2015, Mary Mitchell