The Write Word

Because They Are No More

I read a horror story today. Of a bloodbath so vile and macabre it will rob me of peaceful sleep tonight I am sure. The words themselves were neither sensationalist nor explicit. No, they were surprisingly sparse and few. But my heart fills in the blanks between the words. My mind quickly summons the sounds of anguish, pain and tortured cries that surely accompanied it. My mothers heart shudders and I actually feel a pain in my chest as I read it.

Here it is. Matthew 2:16-18 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

How horrifying it is to us to understand the slaughter of these wee ones, some newborn, still fresh and wrinkled with fuzzy wisps of hair, others toddling about holding to mothers hands, was instigated because of one mans desire for power. King Herod, desperate to retain his comfortable status, determined to preserve his luxuries, ordered the murder of these children. He slaughtered them on the alter of his ego.

This abominable act horrifies and disgusts us. Our blood runs cold at the thought of soldiers knocking down doors, ripping babies from the safety of their mothers arms, brutally slaughtering them to satisfy the lustful greed of King Herod. We rage at the thought of the sword piercing the abdomen of the baby, the image of the bloody corpses left in the mothers hands.

Why then, are we not equally horrified at the knife that pierces the womb of todays infants? Where are the tears of anguish over the callous hearts of todays kings, and queens, who view these wee ones as obstacles standing in the way of their comfort, power, position or success? Who weeps for them? Why do our hearts not quake inside of us at the knowledge that every day wee ones are dismembered while resting in the safety of their mothers bodies and sacrificed on the alter of convenience?

Oh God stir my heart to more than emotion. Stir my soul to prayer. Summon a holy fire of indignation within me to take up spiritual arms against the spirit of Herod in my generation. Let me be the voice of Rachel of old, refusing comforts of prosperity and ease. Let me mourn the ones that are no more.