Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 21, 2018

A Certain Sadness

We live in a mad, mad world! Deadly acts of violence in our nation and around the globe are commonplace. Beheadings, suicide bombers, feticide, shootings in schools and public places, rape, infanticide, bullying — and, the latest act of violence in our own country, explosive devices concealed in innocent-looking packages.

A few years ago I spoke to a group in New Delhi about India’s disregard for the welfare of girls. I pointed to the multiple daily media reports about feticide, infant girls abandoned or disposed of in numbers that equal gendercide, the rape of even the youngest girls, and a multitude of other abuses.

Afterwards, a young man approached me and asked about all of the school shootings in America. He pointed out that the United States is just as deadly as India to all children, not just girls. “I would consider it irresponsible,” he said, “for any parent to send their child to a public school in America.” Point taken!

Because I don’t travel as a tourist but rather engage in the kinds of places where tourists fear to tread, I have seen more ugliness than I ever expected to see — things that I can never unsee. I live with a certain sadness. It’s as though my heart is bruised and every act of violence I hear about presses against that bruise and reignites the pain.

I have walked among victims of the Janjaweed in Darfur, served both Syrian and Iraqi refugees, cared for the dying in Mother Teresa’s homes, visited the poorest of the poor in too many slums to count, seen despair etched into the faces of the despised Rohingya in South Asia, listened to heartbreaking stories of young girls rescued from human traffickers, and more.

Every act of violence and injustice on the planet is driven by world view considerations. At the core of every oppressive and deadly act, in and out of the womb, is a blatant disregard for or an impoverished understanding of the sanctity of human life. When we do not value human life, then the distance that the unspeakable must travel toward becoming reality is shortened.

Jesus cautioned that the devil’s agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy. This clever enemy works tirelessly to numb any part of our heart to the value of human life because once this infection sets in then he knows it can destructively spread to other parts of our heart.

While many rightly decry acts of violence, they seem to do so selectively. We cry foul when a shooter walks into a school. But where is the outcry against the media and music whose messages unashamedly diminish the value of human life and desensitize those who choose to endanger the lives of others.

We quickly protest the availability of guns and the loopholes that make it possible for certain individuals to acquire them. There is no outcry, however, against the tools that an abortionist uses to dismember a child in the womb. Our culture is indeed selective when it comes to the matter of protecting life.

The reality is that the farther away we move from embracing the sanctity of human life the more we put ourselves in danger — and the more absurd we become in regard to affirming the value of human life.

For example, earlier this year the Swiss made it illegal to boil a live lobster because these crustaceans can sense pain. And yet, while the government has acted in response to the pain of lobsters, it has left its abortion laws intact. No consideration for the child in the womb that can feel pain as intensely, if not more so, than lobsters and adults.

Absurd, indeed!

If we are not careful, by denying the right to life to others, we may unwittingly contribute to building the gallows that may one day put our own lives in danger.

Again, the devil is clever. He is happy to give us what we want but always in exchange for what we have. If we demand the right to end life in the womb then one day we may be fighting against those who prefer to euthanize us when we are old and helpless and deemed to be of little use to society.

However an act of aggression against human life is carried out — whether by swords or guns or scalpels — we must look beyond the particular instrument used to end life. We must instead go deeper and consider the world view that leads individuals to use those instruments to cut off heads, shoot innocent bystanders, or dismember babies in the womb.

Life is precious both inside and outside of the womb and worth fighting for.

We must intentionally teach and model for our children what it means to value all human life — including their own. An individual who feels that their own life has little or no value is likely to have little or no regard for the welfare of their neighbor.

Our children must know that we unquestionably affirm their worth and that they are of inestimable importance to us. By so doing our children are more likely to affirm the worth of others, less likely to harm others, and more likely to champion the sanctity of human life.

Failure to do so will have far-reaching consequences that will usher our world into deeper darkness and cover it with a certain sadness. Failure cannot be an option. Too much is at stake!


  1. I know too well the certain sadness you describe. Beautifully and truthfully said. Thank you.

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