March 21 was (or is if you’re in the US) World Down Syndrome Day. For one reason or another (probably because of my circle of friends), this special day didn’t receive much attention on my social media feed.
The absence of coverage is a real shame because down syndrome is a global issue not just for individuals but also for families and communities. Cultures respond to down syndrome differently; many accept these children as a reality and others sadly terminate for various reasons. I understand that this is a sensitive issue and I don’t want to even begin to presume that I know what parents go through in times when difficult decisions need to be made. Nonetheless, this needs to be addressed from a Christian worldview.
But given that I am way beyond my depth, I’ll allow the two images above to speak for themselves and just simply add that according to the biblical worldview, no child born or unborn is a mistake. They are just as fearfully and wonderfully made as those without down syndrome, they are just as loved and cherished by our Father in heaven, and so we too are called to love and cherish them just as God does. I recognise that this comes at a significant cost, so my hope and prayer is that churches will continue to grow in our ability to address the needs of families and communities who are seeking to love and support those under their care.
Thank you mums and dads who take the difficult (yet from what I’m told, equally as joyful) path of giving birth to and raising these beautiful children. We have much to learn from you. Thank you for modelling patience and persistence in adversity and giving us an insight into what it means to love even when there is little chance of that affection being returned. We respect and honour you.