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Archive for the ‘Mothers’ Category

~ Written by Viki Rife

At 16 I graduated high school and got a job at a local hospital. One of my responsibilities involved making sure the radiologists had film cassettes loaded with new film.

One afternoon I got a call from a radiologist who was using the portable x-ray machine in the operating room. He needed more cassettes. I was to meet him in the scrub-room to deliver them.

When I walked into the room, my eye caught sight of the steel counter to the left. To my amazement, it contained five or six dead infants in various stages of development. I remember one had black wavy hair. My first thought was, “how could that many stillbirths occur in one day in our small town?” My teenage mind was horrified.

Just then, a nurse came out of the OR. She saw me staring over at the counter and frowned. “I don’t know why people can’t clean up after themselves,” she grumbled. She went over to the counter, grabbed a trash can, and with one quick move swept all the little bodies into it. Then she pulled out the bag and tied it shut.

I remember thinking, “How will the parents know which child is theirs when they’re ready to bury them?” My mind absolutely could not absorb the fact that the recent ruling of Roe vs. Wade had anything to do with it.

I hid the trauma deep inside and never told a soul.

But my heart was left very vulnerable when it comes to baby deaths. I grieve them with an intensity that has always seemed more than what the average person does. When my own granddaughter died in the womb the week before her due date, I was absolutely numb for two months. Something painful was stirring. It took me a while to figure out what it was. It was the memory of those beautiful dead babies.

Finally, as part of grieving my granddaughter, I allowed myself to examine the incident from so long ago and started processing the emotions that surround it. I was eventually able to share that operating room experience with my husband and a few trusted friends. They have been balm to my aching heart.

I thought I had worked through the trauma. Then last month a couple very close to me lost their baby at 25 weeks. The mother was induced, and I waited in the hallway while the baby was delivered. I saw the doctor leave the room, and a few minutes later a nurse came out carrying a tied trash bag.

The memory from that long-ago day hit like a fist to the stomach. I ran to the bathroom to throw up.

At that point I realized that my horror of living in a society that throws away its children is never going to go away. Thankfully, I soon was able to go into the room and see the baby in her father’s arms. She had not been in that bag. Her tiny body was being treated with dignity and respect by her grieving parents. And, in a strange way, I found the scene comforting. Parents should care that much about their child.

We cannot change our society, no matter what laws we pass. New York’s recent legalization of full-term abortion is only a symptom of our disease of devaluing human life. May God’s people go to our knees in prayer for our society, and may we reach out to help people see the God in whose image they’re made!

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~ Written by Viki Rife 

It happened during Christmas break from college my freshman year. During the break between Sunday School and church I stopped at the bathroom. I heard a mom bring her preschooler into the next stall. The youngster asked a question that had apparently been triggered by something he had heard in his children’s class. I held my breath. It was a tricky question. I felt sorry for the mother.

While I don’t remember the question any more, or what she said, I remember thinking, “Wow, you really need to know your theology to be a mom!” It awakened in me a desire to dig into God’s Word so that someday I would be a wise mom who knew how to take advantage of her child’s curiosity to point them to God’s truth.

I don’t think that mom knew how important her child’s question was, not just for him, but for a shy college student in the next stall. Her biblical perspective inspires me to this day. Thank you, dear friend—you never volunteered to be my mentor, but you are!

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Don’t You Believe Me?

~ Written by Viki Rife

As a young mom, I was floored by a friend’s comment. “I’ve chosen to be a stay-at-home mom because my family is what matters most to me in life,” she said. She went on to list research that shows the importance of quality and quantity time, statistics on the influence of mothers, and the comparison of costs with both parents working, etc. She was very well informed on the subject.

My problem was this was the same friend who was always trying to send her kids to someone else’s house so she could “get things done.” She whined constantly to the rest of us about what a pain her kids were. The fourth-grader made breakfast for the younger ones while Mom slept in every morning. My friend was always on the phone or had her nose buried in a book (this was before Facebook) and couldn’t take time to help her kids with homework.

The truth was, up until that point, I had never seen any evidence that her family mattered to her. Believe me, I know how hard it is to be a stay-at-home mom. And while I respected the list of reasons she used for staying at home with her children, in no way was I convinced that she believed them. It was in her head, but not really in her heart.

Don’t we often do that with God’s truth? We can refer to whole passages that tell us what we should do, and we’re quick to tell others what they should be doing. But is our faith actually believable? When people see us, can they tell we are really committed to the God we claim to love? My friend’s story challenges me to check myself and make sure I’m actually living what I say I believe. And if you see a discrepancy between what I say and what I do, please call it to my attention. Don’t let me continue in my unbelief.

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