We have a little saying around our home that is often said when we need to keep life in perspective, “Because a grateful heart is a…” and the boys always shout the ending, “HAPPY HEART!” Today I was thinking of yet another reason to have a happy heart, something that is easy to take for granted in our country which is the land of the free and the home of the brave. That reason is: the freedom to be who God made us; black or white, young or old, tall or short, blond or brunette, Catholic or Jew.
This hit me in a fresh way a few days ago when I was reminded of the shocking and sickening statistic of over 70,000 of a particular group of people that were killed during Hitler’s reign. These were not Jews (though that statistic is also staggering and sickening) but rather fellow Germans who were deemed “imperfect” by Hitler’s standards. This definition included anyone who suffered from deafness, blindness, mental or physical disability or any other birth defect you could imagine. Hitler had actually commissioned a large team of doctors and staff working in all the medical care fields to “dispose of” (i.e., murder) any person that had imperfections in his dream to create a “perfect race”.
Some of these commissioned medical workers went as far as to visit the homes of people with new babies, check them over for defects and take them away (under the guise of doing further test to help the child) to kill them or put them in secret facilities with other “defected” children.
What really brings this sad piece of our world history home to me is that my son, Judah, would have no doubt been taken.
He was born with a birth defect of a cleft lip (that was easily repaired with a surgery when he was three months old). After being reminded of this dark evil that happened many miles away and many years ago, I held my baby boy a little bit tighter today. I watched him with a greater sense of wonder and joy. I thought to myself while he did the things that normally would drive me a little crazy, “Thank God for this kid. Thank God for his amazing life.”
|Our precious Judah on the day he was born.|
And thank God that we can raise our family in a land that is truly free because of the brave that defend our country. The brave that stand up for the rights of children, both born and unborn. The brave that advocate for people with special needs. The brave that live out God’s unconditional love to people of all races, religions and physical/mental abilities. Thank God I can hold my son everyday without fear of him being taken away. That is why my heart is thankful…and happy.
|Judah at 3 months, the day of his surgery|
|Love this moment: Gideon (20 mo.) wanted to be just like Jude and asked to wear tape over his lip too when his brother got home from the hospital. |
Reminded me of how Jesus showed us his love by becoming human and feeling our pain.
|Still buddies today-brothers Gideon (4) and Judah (3).|