Speaking the Truth in Love

Letter to an Unnamed Child

Dearest Baby,

In 2015 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 7,277 people were put to death in Dallas County. I know. The local TV stations counted only 136 – the number of homicides committed on Dallas city streets. Your death didn’t matter. You and the other 7,276 babies had no legal recognition or protection.

That’s because of an outrageous U.S. Supreme Court decision made 45 years ago. The highest court in the land declared that you were just a blob of tissue with no rights. All that mattered to the seven black-robed judges who condemned you to death was the convenience of your pregnant mother. If she wanted you, then you were a person with unalienable rights. No murderer could kill her and thereby bring about your death without being guilty of a double homicide. But if your mom didn’t want you, your life had no meaning.

I’m sorry that I can’t address you by name. Your mother chose to think of you merely as the baby she didn’t want. Naming you would have dignified you, given you personhood. Naming you would have made her feel even guiltier for snuffing out your life.

The Bible says that God “determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names” (Ps. 147:4). Scientists roughly estimate that all the deserts and beaches on earth contain seven quintillions grains of sand, and that for every grain of sand on earth there are multiple stars in the sky. But the Lord has named every star. That makes me think that he has also named you, little child – you and all the others counted among the astronomical number of 60 million children legally slaughtered in the U.S. since January 22, 1973.

I don’t know your name. And I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing your bright eyes, touching your silky cheek, or hearing your innocent laughter. But I can promise you this: You are not forgotten. As long as the earth stands, the true disciples of Jesus will mourn your loss and plead with God to bring this horror to an end. I can tell you something else too. In the true supreme court yet to be convened, the Judge will be robed not in black but in purest white. Be assured, dearest little one, that on that great day every wrong will be righted.

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