In Isaiah 5:20 we read, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” As followers of Jesus, we need to be wary of those who switch right for wrong and those who replaced truth with lies. We are called to a higher standard of righteousness and truth; God’s standard of compassion and love for the downtrodden and those in need.
A good friend recently made a profound observation. He said, “the only way to change a person’s view is dialogue, genuine deep dialogue.” It struck me powerfully because a few days before, I had a great conversation with a 90-year-old man. We talked life, history, and family. Then it went deep. he said if he was 20 years old again, and his wife was pregnant with a baby that was not “normal,” he would push her to abort the baby.
He finished his thoughts with this line: “life is hard enough; I wouldn’t want to add that.”
I sent a barrage of mini prayers for guidance, then I asked him if I could speak to that exact point.
He grunted, “Sure, knock yourself out.”
I shared with him that my wife and I have a son with autism and three younger children with Down syndrome.
Before I could explain anymore, he interrupted me and said, “What?! How’d that happen? Was it you or your wife?”
I told him we made the choice to adopt them all. I said to him, “I understand your words on life being hard, but I can tell you from experience… our kids are worth it! They have dignity, and they make our lives fuller. They bring joy to everyone they meet. There are many times that it’s not easy, but it’s worth it because our kids are worth it!”
There was a long pause after I finished sharing, and he ended our conversation with a mumbled, “Difference of opinion, I guess.”
I doubt that old guy will change his mind even in the slightest. However—maybe that little seed grows to become something more. The words I shared with him may move his heart to compassion at the right time. Here’s my point: no one will know your perspective unless you share it. Let us be bold and not hide the light of our faith!
As always, may you find joy in the simple things. This is Marlin with Plain Values magazine. Learn more about our work, and subscribe, at plainvalues.com.