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The Impossible Decision

By October 25, 2017March 25th, 2018JPLA Blog

Imagine having two children that are dying. Now imagine having the ability to save one, but not the other.  Which would you choose?  What would you do? It’s every parent’s nightmare.  It’s a lose-lose situation that no parent should have to make. But in this story it was a reality.  A real-life nightmare.

One of the most powerful parts of our ministry is serving widows and children in our community.  Our ministry is not limited to the children we serve inside the walls of our property.  We also reach out to those in need in the local community.  On a regular basis we deliver baskets of food to the “least of these”.  This is how we were introduced to the mom who couldn’t decide.

This mom is a good mom.  She loves and takes care of her children. She would do anything for them, but not make the decision.  And who could blame her?  Both children suffered from kidney failure.  She was a match for both, but only her.  Nobody else could help.  There were no other matches.  She was faced with the decision to save one – only one.  And she couldn’t do it.

Who could?  Who could look at the children they love and say, “I will save your life, but not yours”?  She held the power of life and death in her own body, but couldn’t say which child would live and which child would die.  So she decided not to decide.  She chose not to choose.  And it was the best thing she could do.

Like all of us, she couldn’t choose one over the other. It’s not in a parent’s nature to do so.  We love our children equally, just as she does.  All she could do was pray and wait. There isn’t the opportunity or resources to find another donor.  It’s just not a real possibility here in Guatemala.  So she loved and cared for her kids the best she could for as long as she could. Equally.

Unfortunately the day came when she didn’t have to decide anymore.  One of the children passed away from the disease that destroyed her body.  The burden of having to choose between your children has now been replaced by the burden of moving forward without your child.  Perhaps it’s an easier burden to bear.  I can’t speak for the mother, but I can imagine the relief of not having to choose anymore.

I don’t know exactly how she is processing the loss of her child.  I assume she is questioning her decision to not decide.  That would be normal.  But I do know that she is trusting God with it.  And having lost a child of my own, I know that’s all we can do.  Trust Him.