26 June 2008

Angels In The Wilderness

Gilbert Meilaender on the limits of parenting:
There’s an undercurrent to parenthood that makes us uneasy. “Even in the best of circumstances,” we will eventually have to leave our children behind. We will die. However desperately we would like to secure their future, would like all to be well for them, that future will be taken out of our hands—because, for us, it will be no more.

It is, then, no small act when we hand these children over in baptism. In doing so we acknowledge that we cannot guarantee their future. No more than a mother who hands over her child for adoption can we know what the future will hold for them, do anything more to shape it, help them to face it, or deflect the speeding trucks that may be coming.

Perhaps the first thing a genuinely pro-life sensibility needs to recapture is this sense of our own limits. The gift of the child, precisely because it is a gift, is ours to care for but not finally to secure. There had better be angels in the wilderness, who can say to us as to Hagar: “Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad.”
Here's the whole thing, originally in Touchstone, but reprinted in the July 2008 Anglicans for Life News Brief.


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