This time of year many churches talk about the sanctity of life. We take time to acknowledge the number of babies being killed by abortion every year. I have shared several times in this blog that when I read the Bible through for the first time, Matthew 2:18 left me feeling unsettled. "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more." I first associated this verse with Moses' time when Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill Jewish babies and then with Christ's time when all boys under the age of two were to be put to death to make sure the new born "King" would not rise to power.
I discovered this verse when I was having my own babies and I found myself frequently meditating on it. I could not wrap my mind around the brutal orders given by the men in authority that were responsible for the deaths of so many little ones. It became even more disturbing when I stood over a baby-sized coffin, weeping with my friend as she buried her six-month-old. My heart ached for every child lost and for every mama standing with like my friend, with empty arms and engorged breasts, weeping for a baby wanted. It hurt my heart to know those mamas could never hear their babies cry again. Never hear cute little belly laughs. Never hear them call, "Mama," after bad dreams. Never hear them sing or watch them dance. Never see them play tag, catch balls, or swim races. Never celebrate the milestones we often take for granted--first steps, birthdays, graduations, holidays, and marriages, and grandchildren. As my friend's baby was laid to rest, I could hear Rachel weeping with all the grieving Mamas.As I read through the Old Testament, I saw some other things I believed might have caused Rachel to weep as well. As Israel moved into the Promised Land, some made unholy alliances with people who were steeped in pagan worship. Pagan religions were fear-based religions centered around idols representing angry gods. To appease angry gods people sacrificed virgin daughters who were taken to temples to be sexually abused and trafficked by temple priests. Some parents even offered babies to be burned before stone idols. It was common enough that God forbid the practice in His Law and required the death penalty for those who did such things in Israel. I believe as young daughters were taken and left with priests and when babies were placed on altars that Rachel could be heard weeping.
I pray government will reverse laws that allow abortion. As I have prayed the period in which legal abortions can occur has been extended to the point that in one state it is up to full term and babies surviving are left to die. It hurts to see women who God made to be nurturers smiling and applauding the lives that have been brutally terminated.