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I'm glad I'm not...

... an obstetrician or a medical ethicist.

In the last few days a 62 year old woman has given birth to a son conceived by IVF, a friend has announced the birth of their fourth child, and I've conducted a funeral for a baby born so early that had he not breathed he would have counted as a miscarriage and not a stillbirth because he was so premature.  Today in countless clinics across the western world 'imperfect' babies and those conceived inconveniently will be flushed away as little more than tissue, in sterile laboratories clever scientists will dabble with genetics and mothers (and fathers) will weep as their hopes and dreams lie broken on the floor of delivery room 'A'.  Today in many nations babies will die of curable diseases, experience gnawing hunger or be abandoned on the hillside because they are the wrong gender.

I'm glad these are not my decisions to make, to pronounce upon, to endorse or to condemn.

I'm glad theodicy allows me to say 'I do not know' and, in the name of the child whose funeral it was (as translated by a book of baby names) simply to affirm, elijah shaun: God is God, God is gracious.  I don't have to be able to make sense of everything but part of the mystery of faith, and of God, is the unknowing and the knowing held together by grace.

And I'm still glad I don't have to make ethical obstectric or medical decisions.

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