The headline gives a hint to the small, back-page article’s content: “Newborn On Life Support After Being Left in Trash.” The article is small, not even meriting a front page position. “…police said his mother gave birth to him in a hospital bathroom and left him in a trash can over the weekend…Authorities say doctors resuscitated the child Saturday night after a custodian at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital found the baby.” There was a time when the incident would have been sensational enough to earn a spot on the front page. That it now is given so little attention is symbolic of what happened. What is trash and what is treasure speaks of our priorities. This woman, whoever she might be, relegated to the trash can something that right thinking people would hold dear and esteem as a treasure. To the worshiper of God: “Children are a heritage of Jehovah; and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
But the incident makes us wonder, how many who would be horrified at what this woman did, are, in essence being guilty of the same thing?
In the Old Testament the Bible tells us that “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” Geneses 2:7. Man became a living soul!!! Man became an everlasting soul with a destiny either in heaven with God or banished from His presence in a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Whether the child in the trash lives a hundred years or dies soon as a result of his mistreatment at the hands of his mother, his soul is everlasting. That is one reason human life is such a treasure.
The parent who does not do all he can to help his child (or children) to proper spiritual development is as guilty as this mother. Some parents can trash, and even stifle, a child’s spiritual life while they treasure his social and educational development. And yet, which is the most important when you consider the real facts of the matter?
Hannah, the mother of Samuel, one of the greatest Old Testament characters, was thrilled when her child was born. She named him Samuel because it means “his name is God.” She explained, “Because I have asked him of Jehovah.” She nurtured him carefully, made a little ephod, and took him to Eli the priest, to serve in the tabernacle. She told Eli, “I have given him to Jehovah; as long as he liveth, he is given to Jehovah.”
We love her for her understanding of the true value of things. She knows that in this way she can be with her child in eternity. And she treasures his worth. (Read I Samuel 1)
When we “nurture them (our children) in the chastening and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4) we give recognition of the true value of their very being. We place them, not in a trash can, but on a pedestal, loving them and giving them every opportunity to develop in a way that will insure their being able to live forever in glory. It is only in this way that we can recognize their true worth.