I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a conversation I had with a casual acquaintance some months back. We were discussing the great lengths that Ramona’s medical team has gone to in order to preserve her life. She inquired about the medical bills and I confessed that I sometimes wonder what God would think about using so many resources to save one child when those resources could probably save thousands in other parts of the world. She remarked, “Yeah, whatever happened to survival of the fittest?” I was troubled by this comment and filed it away in my Weird-Stuff-People-Say folder.

Of course I struggle with the medical ethics issues that have deepened as the technology and care for very sick children has improved. But I had never considered that someone, especially God, might deem Ramona “unfit”.

A friend of mine with a severely disabled niece told me once that the the first question people often ask when they learn of her disability is “Will she be able to live on her own?”. The implication is that being independent and self-sufficient is the highest measure of “fitness” and success in the world. So, I’ve been wondering, what makes us fit to be here? How do we decide who has a place and a purpose in this world?

I don’t believe God only intends for the fit, the perfect to make up His kingdom. None of us is perfect, we live in a fallen world where we all fall short. I believe God treasures us all, created us all in His image. I believe God made Ramona just how He meant to and then made a way for her life-saving care. I believe her life, no matter how long or how short it will be, has a purpose in Him. I believe we are all in the palm of His hand.

I know this is an over-simplification. I know not everyone has the luxury we have in this country of caring for the sick and disabled with such dignity. I know that illnesses like AIDS have crippled entire nations. Why God has intervened on Ramona’s behalf and not on behalf of so many others I will never understand.

But I am thankful. I am humbled and grateful. I have decided that for today, my humility will not be a sacrifice of my pride or take me “down a notch”. It will be a simple admission of the truth. That we are all dependent on God. That our dependence does not diminish our worthiness or purpose, it enhances it. That what we’re worth in this world should be measured through the eyes of God and not in terms of dollars and cents or evolutionary imperatives.

I welcome your thoughts on this subject. The wise counsel I hear in your comments is always a challenge and a comfort to me.

Love, Jane.