"As my lectio drew to a close this morning," I wrote in 2012, "something happened.
I felt a desire to hold a tiny, tiny newborn. Being well beyond the age of giving birth myself, I attributed this longing to the fact that my youngest grandchild is now two. And yes, I think that's part of it.
But it hit me: this 'call to hold' may well be a nudge from God. I think it is a spiritual call, not a physical one.. and certainly it's in line with the call each of us has (to some degree or other) to pray for and help those in need.
So today I am saying yes, as an act of faith, and I'm 'spiritually adopting.' There are so many little ones in imminent danger, ones so tiny that some dismiss them as not human. There are infants whose parents have been told 'there might be something wrong with the fetus. Our advice is to abort.' There are newborns lying on cold metal tables, their skin burned with saline, ignored because their mothers, after all, did not want to carry them to term. Leave it alone, a nurse is told, forget it. It's not a baby.
Not-A-Baby utters a pitiful cry, flails its little arms, reaches out with tiny fingers to grasp its gift of life. It IS a baby - a tiny, helpless, wounded baby who needs someone to care, to love, to hold.
Perhaps I am adopting all of them, perhaps there is someone(s) specific, but today I hold out my 'arms.' I pray for mothers, fathers, grandparents, doctors, government leaders, voters, nurses, abortionists. I pray for the parents who have just been told their unborn child has an abnormality. I pray for the unmarried teenager, and her boyfriend, and her frantic parents. I pray for a change in laws, I pray for a change in hearts.
I swaddle in prayer. I cuddle with intercession. I hold a tiny one in my heart, and I say yes. I will work for you, O tiny one, I'll be your advocate however I can.
And when they come for you to take your life, I will be at your side in prayer...
'The mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo.' Pope John Paul II (Evangelium Vitae)
Painting: Gabriel Cornelius von Max