Some friends of mine, who just love to see babies join families, heard about this far away country where all of the families were pregnant, but none of the mothers would ever deliver to term. The mothers, all very round in the belly, each acted as if they didn't even know what a pregnancy was. Very few of the people in this country had ever seen a baby. And it was almost impossible to actually find one, even if you deliberately went around looking.
Well, like I said, these friends of mine are so passionate about babies, and they feel so strongly that the purpose of life is to have more babies so even more people can be loved by their families. So these friends of mine were just crushed that this faraway country had nothing but pregnant women who never seemed to give birth. But then, after weeping, and praying, and saving, and planning, a group of my dear friends all got on an airplane and flew to the Land of Interminable Pregnancies.
When they came back, they told the most amazing stories. They'd met with one woman and told her about the miracle of birth. When the woman believed, she went right into labor! She gave birth, and had a baby! This was such wonderful news, I couldn't help but weep tears of joy.
My friends told more stories like this. One night, a hundred more people had all come to a big tent meeting at which the message of giving birth had been prominently shared. Forty-five more women had babies that night! Forty-five couples became new families! Praise the Lord! How amazing, the faith of my friends, and their prayers that took hold. To see all these lives changed, to see new life begin in the midst of these peoples families! I'd never heard a more wonderful tale.
A year later, however, a few of my friends went back again for a second visit. This time, I went with them. I kept looking for one-year old babies. But I didn't see any. I kept looking for happy new families. I couldn't find more than a few. My friends made contact with almost all the new mothers from one year before.
With few exceptions, every new mother confessed shame and expressed guilt over the fact that their babies had died. Those whose children had grown were now having meetings all by themselves. Somehow, they'd figured out how to take care of babies. But the ex-families just stayed away, feeling inadequate.
As sad as that made me, what happened next floored me. My wonderful friends, who cared so passionately about babies, gathered all of these mourning ex-mothers together for another tent meeting. This time they invited three-hundred of their friends' friends. Hundreds of previously interminable pregnant women had babies that night. But three days later, we were on the flight home.
Why don't we stay? I asked. Why don't we help teach these new families how to actually take care of a brand new infant life?
That part isn't our job, I was told. We just have to trust God for that part. Somebody plants. Somebody else waters. We're only doing as much as we know how to do. They said. As we flew home.
I weep now, every time I see my friends going back to the land of interminable pregnancies. Maybe I'm the one who's inadequate, but I can't allow myself to feel too much joy over babies being born, when I know the chances of these new lives being nurtured with even the minimum amount of skillfulness needed to keep them alive... simply isn't there.
My friends here at home don't understand why I can't go to their meetings anymore. Every week, they have praise reports about new mothers giving birth. Rarely, if ever, do I hear about children growing up to maturity. My friends here at home all think it's just wonderful every time a new baby gets born. But it makes me so sick with grief that I almost have to vomit.
Don't they see what they're doing? Don't they care?
In a land of interminable pregnancies, they should stop teaching women how to give birth. Let the babies stay in utero until we've learned how to bring them into this world WITH A FUTURE.
Let's first build a world worth bringing these babies into. Then let's go to the families that can't seem to give birth. THEN, let's share with them the message of new life. Only then.