I find it interesting that so many people are shocked that some African women would dump their newborns into a pit latrine.
My last post quickly shot up into my #1 most-read post, with over 7000 hits. (I realize that's small potatoes in the blog world, but it's a lot for my tiny corner of the internet.)
It certainly was not my most inspired piece of writing. So all I can figure is that it was sensational enough to shock people into reading and sharing.
Why is it so shocking that women in Africa leave their newborns to die?
Is dumping a baby into a toilet more barbaric than jabbing a scalpel into a baby's neck, suctioning out her brains, and crushing her skull? Or simply vacuuming her life away, piece by piece, as she struggles to get away?
After all, that's what happened to over a million babies in America last year. Legally.
At least Tanzania has the sense to make child murder illegal.
In Tanzania, there's not a lot of hope for unwanted babies, when adoption is so culturally unacceptable. But in America, there's tens of thousands of couples who wait months....years....for the phone call that there's a baby waiting for them. Yet still, we throw away a million babies a year.
Listen. My heart breaks for these mamas. I can't imagine the despair, the hopelessness, the fear, that compels a mama to dump her newborn into a toilet pit. Or to pay money for someone to suck out her baby's brains. I think of the 17-year-old who is terrified she'll be kicked out of school. Or the prostitute who doesn't see a way out. Or the desperate mama who just doesn't know how she'll feed one more child.
It goes against a woman's deepest instinct to turn her back on her child. The heartache that leads her to that point must be unfathomable. Yes, Christians, let's be known for advocating for the babies. But let's be known for advocating for the mamas too.
But don't just weep for the African babies who are thrown away. Weep for the American ones too--and those all over the world, for that matter. (Ironically, one of the few (only?) similarities between the United States and North Korea is that they both permit abortions past 20 weeks--two of only seven countries in the entire world that allow them.)
There is redemption for a baby lifted out of a toilet pit and given life and love.
There is redemption for the adoptive mother when that child fills empty spaces in her heart.
There is redemption for the birth mother who sacrificially gives her child a chance at life. And there's even redemption available for the one who doesn't.
Because in that picture, there is the reminder that we all are in the toilet pit, until the Day when we are lifted out and made Sons or Daughters.
Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" I made you grow like a plant of the field....I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine. (Ezekiel 16:6, 8)