Something to Celebrate

The news from my friends Bill and Jane Spears was grim. Their daughter Amy was experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her baby's brain was failing to form properly; he would need surgery soon after birth, and it looked like he might not survive at all. As they waited anxiously for the birth, Bill, Jane, and Amy sent prayer requests to friends all over the country. Jane wrote, "We have not discounted a miracle . . . and we boldly ask God for one and ask that each of you pray for one as well." We did pray for a miracle. But the truth is that this family had already experienced one miracle. An enormous number of parents are now choosing to abort in cases like the one Amy faced. Some figures say as many as 90 percent abort their children. Some of them aren't prepared for the staggering medical costs, that insurance companies are less and less inclined to pay. And many don't believe they can cope with the responsibilities that a seriously ill child brings. One such man, Bill Keller, wrote in the New York Times that he and his wife could not endure the thought that their child had a very high chance of being born "dead or in a vegetative state." He recalls, "Facing the prospect of a greater heartbreak, watching a child die or suffer inconsolably, or exhausting the emotional resources needed for two other children, we decided to end it." But he then admits, "I've often wondered what we'd have done if the decision had been less stark -- if the doctor had said [the chances were] 50-50." Amy Spears didn't wonder what she would do. Some of her doctors told her she should end the pregnancy. But Amy chose to trust in God's providence and protect her child's life, even though she had every reason to expect a tragedy. And she did this in a society that tells her to put her own needs, her own health, and her own convenience first. So that in itself is the first miracle -- a real work of God's grace in Amy's life. Well, in this case, the family was granted one more miracle. When Jackson Tate Spears was born on December 18, although he was premature, there were "no obvious irregularities" and no need for surgery. Jane wrote joyfully, "The neo-natal team shrugged their shoulders, packed up, and left the O.R. before they even got Jackson fully cleaned up." The doctors did find that, as expected, Jackson had a rare brain disorder called ACC. But the tests determined that he shows none of the symptoms that can result from this disorder. They now expect him to live a perfectly normal life. I had the joy of meeting Jackson when his family brought him to a BreakPoint conference in California. As I held him in my arms, I was overwhelmed by the thought that, if his mother had not had the courage to make the right choice, Jackson's life might have been snuffed out before he was born. I rejoice that my friends have been blessed with this healthy, beautiful child. But no matter how the story had ended, faith and obedience like theirs would have been something to celebrate. For further reading and information: Read more about ACC at the National Organization for Rare Disorders website. Bill Keller, "Charlie's Ghost," New York Times, 29 June 2002. See also the response to this article at the bottom of the page. Charles A. Donovan, "Good Things to Life," BreakPoint Online, 15 April 2003. Gina Dalfonzo, "No Choice," BreakPoint Online, 25 July 2002. BreakPoint Commentary No. 030523, "The Meaning of Persons: Protecting the Unborn." Roberto Rivera y Carlo, "Targeting the Disabled," Boundless, 5 December 2002. Agnes R. Howard, "What Else to Expect When You're Expecting," First Things, January 2003, 17-19. Scott Klusendorf, Pro-Life 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Case Persuasively (Stand to Reason Press, 2002).


Chuck Colson


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