Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Incredible Value of a Single Human Life

Mom's beautiful bay window, just one of the many blessed features of the apartment that was built just for her. 
This summer I've been reading John Piper's, A Hunger for God. Through this book, the Holy Spirit is doing a work in my heart and mind. I'm being changed in the best possible way; through the sculpting influences of God's Word and God's Spirit.

In his chapter on abortion, Piper's clear teaching on the sanctity of human life has led me to this conclusion:  in order to be God's hands and heart as I provide care to my elderly mother, I must respect the value of her life to God.

There is a worldly view of human life that is gaining prevalence in our society; a view that would consider human beings to be just one life form that shares the planet with other, equally important creatures and plants. This is not the view of human life put forth in the Bible. Not only are human beings created in God's image, we are His beloved. It is the love of God for my mother that has time and again turned me from a worldly train of thought that, if followed to its logical end, would lead me to conclude that my mother's life is no longer of  value.

In the eyes of the world, my mother is utilizing resources while paying back nothing, but in God's eyes she is precious.  I believe He loves her scribbled praises and prayers, and that the sound of her warbling voice singing hymns gives Him joy.  

When I was new at the job of caregiving, the inequality of my labor versus Mom's life of relative leisure sometimes caused me distress.  The sacrificial service God was asking of me seemed beyond reason.  Furthermore, I could clearly see that my mother, although in possession of many honorable traits, was not and never had been perfect; and thus did not particularly deserve such an extravagant display of love.  The Lord was gracious to explain to me that I was seeing the fruit of His mercy and grace in my mother's life; she is incredibly precious to Him simply because she belongs to Him:
This was God’s love in action; the sacrificial love that allowed Jesus to die so that my mother could live the life of a beloved child of God. When I began to comprehend God’s grace toward Mom, I was helped toward greater trust in His grace and provision for me. From My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers p.238
As human beings living in a fallen world we become so easily convinced that there should be a limit placed on the resources and sacrifice expended for the sake of one human life.  But in the economy of God's Kingdom, there are no limits; His love is beyond reason. He has withheld nothing from us, not even His only Son.  I've been reminded once again that we are precious in His sight. 

Scripture: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16). 


  1. There is wisdom in this post; real wisdom. Thank you.

  2. We are, indeed, precious in His sight. So good to remember!

  3. Good stuff, Mom. Very good. I copied and pasted this into my journal: "As human beings living in a fallen world we become so easily convinced that there should be a limit placed on the resources and sacrifice expended for the sake of one human life. But in the economy of God's Kingdom, there are no limits; His love is beyond reason."

  4. Linda,
    I just came across your blog and I am so thankful that I did. God has really spoken to me through your posts. My mother in law moved in with us a few months ago. She has Alzheimers and very advanced emphysema. We also have two sons ages 2 and 7, and we homeschool. My relationship with my mother in law has never been easy, and yet we felt God calling us to move her in with us.

    God is refining me through this and has given me a new relationship with my mother in law. She has no memories of me and feels we just met when she moved in. She enjoys my company most days now.

    We have made the decision to find a place for my mother in law to live, and God answered that prayer very specifically. Our mother in lawn would also like to live somewhere else because the noise of the children has become too stressful for her.

    This journey has been becoming harder and your blog helped me to see more of what God is doing. The post about the preciousness of life and how precious your mom is to God resonated deep with me. I had forgotten that in all the day to day challenges. God has lit a fire in me over that now. I am also looking for more of the gifts while on this journey, and there are many that I have overlooked.

    My fears right now are in finding the right place for her and how the transition will go for her. I am reminded that because she is so precious to God and He directed us to now look somewhere, I can trust that He will lead us to a place and watch over her.

    I don't know if any of this makes sense. And maybe I gave you way more information than you wanted to know from a stranger. I just wanted to thank you for posting and creating this blog, because God has used it to make a difference in my life.


  5. Jolee, your comment made perfect sense and you blessed my heart through it. I hope you see this because I want to say thank you for sharing. Praying for you right now as you seek the place the Lord has for your mom-in-law. Blessings, Linda