“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:10, NIV)
It takes less than 5 minutes of watching the national evening news to feel sick about the status of humankind around the world. In thousands of years on this earth, we humans have not only failed to improve how we treat one another, it often seems we’ve perfected cruelty towards one another.
Take for instance the latest human perversion of our justice system, the wrongful birth lawsuit. One of the most recent, notable settlements was in the amount of $2.9 million for a four year old Oregon child with Down Syndrome who was misdiagnosed in prenatal screening. Sadly, stories like this one are not new. A 2009 novel by renowned author, Jodi Piccoult, HANDLE WITH CARE is based around the moral dilemma behind parents like this who think that their lawsuits are actually doing something good for their children. However, the church has something even better than such pursuits to offer parents.
Take the story of Gillian Marchenko. This pastor’s wife fancies herself both a mother and a Down Syndrome advocate. Her story flies in the face of all such cultural news as she not only parents a biological child with the Down Syndrome diagnosis, but also answered God’s call to adopt another child with the diagnosis from the Ukraine. This is a mother who would have something powerful and hopeful to share with a dark culture on World Down Syndrome Day.
What Gillian Marchenko has to share is a message that the church is uniquely positioned to offer. Rather than an incongruent message of “I’ll say I wished I had aborted you, even though I still love you, just so I can get my hands on some extra money because of the injustice I perceive you living with,” Marchenko’s would be more akin to, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14, NASB) In other words, both Marchenko and we in the church are able to preach the good news that God can and does use all lives with their unique capabilities to bring Him glory. Days like World Down Syndrome Day merely offer us a brighter spotlight to do so. Educating the public, refuting their misconceptions and addressing their fears works towards the wider Christian mission of proclaiming love to every person bearing the fingerprints of God.
It is our high privilege to feature Gillian Marchenko as our guest on #SpnMin TweetChat, Thursday, March 22, 8 PM, CST. We very much look forward to her sharing the story of her family’s journey with all who join us.
If you have never participated in a TweetChat before, merely follow these instructions:
First, you must have an established Twitter account. If you don’t already have one, simply go to http://www.twitter.com and set a free account. When participating in the chat for the first time, click on the following link: http://tweetchat.com/room/spnmin.
You will be prompted through an easy three-step process.
When you click “Sign In”, you will then be asked to “Authorize an Application” through your Twitter account. To attend, you will have to click the blue “Authorize App” button.
Once you have done so, merely type in the name of the chat (hashtag) you wish to attend at the top of the page, and click go. For our chat, type in spnmin. Now you’re in the chat room! But you’re not finished yet.
To keep most current with the conversation, go to the upper left hand side of the screen and click on “Refresh Speed”. Slide the tab down to 5 seconds. This will keep you up-to-date with the scrolling conversation. Remember, just like on Twitter, you are limited to only so many spaces for your comments…in this case 132 characters. You don’t have to add the #spnmin hashtag after every post. TweetChat adds the hashtag automatically.