The Light Does Shine in the Darkness

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

Sometimes the darkness is overwhelming: The Chinese health ministry reported that more than 336 million children have been eliminated through abortion since 1971. Joe Carter recently put that number into its gruesome context. Then there’s the horrific practices of Kermit Gosnell being exposed — seven babies, born alive, that he brutally killed. Late-term abortions still make Americans uneasy, but so does having a child with a disability. More and more companies are developing early tests to identify genetic anomalies. “Screening” for Down syndrome and other genetic anomalies is growing rapidly.

The Story of Baby S

And then there is the bizarre story of Baby S, a little girl with multiple disabilities and multiple parents — and that’s when the light broke through. The headline, “Surrogate Offered $10,000 to Abort Baby”, introduced a story that is almost unbelievable and is hard to summarize. In short. . .

An unmarried woman with children accepted money to carry a baby for a couple who could not safely have another child. When that child was discovered to have disabilities, the couple wanted to abort, and the surrogate almost agreed. When she refused, the surrogate was bullied by the couple’s attorney and by a surrogacy agency to change her mind. The laws in Connecticut gave the surrogate no legal standing with the baby she was carrying. If she did give birth, the couple said they would turn the child over to the state. State law allowed them to do so. And then it turned out that the wife of the couple wasn’t even the genetic mother.

So, where is the light in all this?

That little girl, after the surrogate mother fled to Michigan, was adopted into a loving home with a mother and father who care deeply about her.

Consider all the things against this little girl even being allowed to live, let alone being in a family: First, the woman carrying her did it for the money and had no intention of raising the child. Next, the couple paying for the pregnancy did not want a child with a disability and offered $10,000 to her to abort the baby. The surrogate mother had actually signed a contract saying she would abort if they discovered a severe fetal abnormality. The surrogate was also misinformed about parenting a child with disabilities. Not to mention, the laws in Connecticut give genetic parents the rights over the baby, not the woman carrying the baby.

Everything was against this child. Everything, almost. God wanted that little girl to live and have a family.

So God put it in the surrogate’s heart that abortion is wrong halfway through the pregnancy. Then he gave her an attorney, at no cost, who told her she could not be forced to abort. And when the couple threatened to take the child at birth and make her a ward of the state, her attorney found a state that defined parenthood differently. Michigan says that the woman giving birth is the legal mother, and so she moved there. The genetic father agreed to give up his parental rights. Then God introduced the surrogate to some caring people who could advise her about adoption and parenting a child with disabilities, and that couple ended up adopting this little girl.

Longing for God’s Glory

This turn of events should lead us to worship. This demonstration of God’s authority and intentionality is a gift in a dark and evil world.

And it points to something powerful that the darkness cannot overcome or stop even as we weep over the killing of 336 million Chinese babies and more than 50 million American babies:

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:22-24)

Pastor John has summarized it: “In other words, the final argument for the righteousness of God in a world with so much evil and destruction is that this evil serves the revelation of God’s glory. That is, God’s just judgment of it and God’s gracious rescue from it display more fully the glory of God than if there had been no evil” (“To Him Be Glory Forevermore”)

Someday, the killing season on all babies will end. Someday, the riches of God’s glory will be fully known as we see him face to face. And Baby S will be recognized by everyone to possess the worth given her by a great and glorious God.

John Knight is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder. John blogs on issues of disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.