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Missions 101

The Unwanted Baby

Aug. 6, 2015By: Julia SmartAuthor Bio

The gruesome image of a tiny baby’s hand, splayed open and lifeless in its own blood has haunted me these past two weeks since the second Planned Parenthood expose was released. She is naked before a watching world; she is unwanted; she is abandoned in a pool of her own blood. The image evokes the most visceral of human emotions—helplessness, fear, disgust and shame.

10930Consider Ezekiel 16:4-5, “ And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.” Here, the prophet details Israel’s shame before a holy God. She is naked; she is unwanted; she is abandoned.

The shocking plot twist comes in verse 6 and 7, “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field.” God breaks into this gruesome scene of death. With the power of His spoken Word, He brings life from the dead and marks Israel with His love.

Israel turns away from the Father to a life of idolatry, spiritual prostitution and eventually, death. Israel serves as a reminder of our need for a love that empowers us to choose life. Indeed, He alludes to this new covenant love in verses 62 and 63 of the same chapter, “ I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.”

Left to our own devices, we will turn aside from our loving Father and to the idols that litter our world, eventually leading to our own death. Our Father’s love—a love that chooses us before we ever choose it--empowers us to live through the Son’s willing sacrifice of himself. In one fell swoop, we move from bloody, lifeless and abandoned to chosen, precious and adopted.

This baby’s hand splayed out on the pie plate, lifeless and bloody points to another hand splayed out for you and me. He was naked before a watching world; he was unwanted; he was abandoned in a pool of his own blood. Instead of haggling over the price of his limbs, his murderers were haggling over his clothing. He chose death so that we could choose life.

Here is a love that is pregnant with all the power we need to choose life. Here is a love that fights for life, indeed He fought to the bitter end. Let us fight for life alongside him who already secured our victory. 

Julia serves as a missionary in Southeast Asia with her husband and three children. She holds a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Wheaton College.  

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