“She told us of the sacrifices made by leper parents, who must give up their newborns immediately upon birth or risk infecting them for life with the disease. She told us the story of one couple saying good-bye to their three-day-old baby:
Each one looked at the little one, their hands going close to the child and then withdrawing, trying, wanting to kiss the child, and again falling back. I cannot forget the deep love of that father and mother for their little child. I took the child, and I could see the father and mother as I was walking. I held the child toward them, and they kept on looking until I disappeared from their eyes. The agony and pain it caused! . . . But because they loved the child more than they loved themselves, they gave it up.”
This story is heartbreaking in itself, but equally heartbreaking – in fact far more so because of the sheer numbers involved – are the children destroyed before birth by parents who may choose to part with children out of some form of self-love rather than from love of the child.
Perhaps one of the greatest indicators of if we are actually living as Christians is whether we are giving up things for the sake of others, rather than for our own sake. The things we give up in this way may be our own convenience, plans, preferences, or ultimately even our personal happiness or well-being. If we are to truly follow the Christian way of life, we must look at our own lives and ask what we should be giving up for love.