The doctor put his trembling hand on her frail, freckled arm and stammered, "You or the baby will survive. Not both. I'm so sorry."
The mother, who had put thought into her next few words, knowing that this might've been the outcome, met her doctor's green eyes and sharply replied, "Let my child survive. I'll die."
Concerned that his patient was not thinking rationally, the doctor informed her that she was young, that she had the option to live and that she would have the opportunity to conceive another child in her future.
"I know," the mother replied. "Without my dying, though, this child's life," she massaged her stomach, "will have no value."
When the child was born, he was placed into an adoption center. He grew, but not without problems. He went to second-grade and got picked on for being overweight. He was laughed at in junior high for asking out the Homecoming Queen. He earned Fs in math class. He dropped out of high school by eleventh grade.
Nobody thought much of this boy. And he didn't think much of himself. He was sure that his mother should be living, that she would have been a better person than him. Some days, most days, all days, the only push to keep him going, though, was knowing that his mother laid down her life for him.
He was given life not because he was supposed to be handsome or smart or well off, but because he was her child. And if nothing else, that gave him worth.
We're not this boy, but we're, sort of, in his situation.
Through conception, we are born with a fatal illness that will eventually kill us - sin. Engrossed in a sinful womb, we have no escape. We're doomed for death.
Except Jesus happens.
He takes us, filthy with our insecurities, with our poor math grades, with our rejections that pile up next to our name and He shoves us down into His cleansing baptismal waters and brings us up again clean with holiness, spotless with beauty, with intelligence, flawless at worst.
Like the boy in the story, our life gets hard and we forget how much we are loved. We know we were loved to the point of death, even death on the cross, but we still feel hated, rejected and hurt by this world.
So, Jesus happens again.
He picks us up and carries us to His table of food and drink. Weak and weary is our souls, so He lifts the bread to our lips and informs us, "This is My body, given for you." Unworthy were we in sin, but Jesus reminds us, "This is My blood, given for you" and the chalice is poured.
As if that's not enough, our own Savior speaks to us through His Word, "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6)." No one comes to the Father except through Me. Like the boy and his mother, not our intelligence, not our beauty, not our amount of friends can give us life, but we were merely given life through somebody else. We didn't earn our way to heaven. We were simply given heaven through Christ.
We're not this boy, but we're, sort of, in his situation. We were given life by grace alone.
The key to accepting eternal life is receiving it through faith alone. It's receiving a Savior who ardently hunted for us, even to the point of His own crucifixion, that He might claim us as His brothers and sisters. He indeed has that divine love, that saving eagerness to have us wholly as His own. And so He does. We do not ask. We just receive Christ. Through love. It is a love that is more satisfying that the story of the mother lying down her life for her son because it is a love that not only gives us life here on earth, but also life in paradise with Christ. Christ's life saves us from ourselves, saves us from every hurt and saves us for a life in which Christ lives through us, delivering us up out of the likes of this world to an eternal paradise to be with the Savior of the whole universe.
Kaitlin Jandereski is a student at Central Michigan University. She currently lives in a small town called Bad Axe, Michigan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created: May 22nd, 2015