Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Heidi's Hero

This is an unsual story, even for me. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts.

Heidi’s Hero

Jack was an ordinary man. He had a family and a regular job. He paid his taxes, he voted at every opportunity, and he watched every Super Bowl. According to society, Jack was the life-blood of mainstream America. However, Jack had a problem.

A peculiar change overcame him when he saved the life of a small child—a seven year old. He was walking his dog on a lazy, Saturday afternoon when he noticed a woman walking sporadically, dragging a little girl by the arms. The girl was whimpering, almost inaudibly, but willingly submitted to her mother’s harsh demands.

Jack grew curious as he watched the woman drag the girl into an alleyway, between two large, forbidding buildings. He followed quietly; his one vice being nosy. His curiosity transformed into horror as the woman produced a pistol from her purse and held it to the girl’s head with shaking hands. The girl’s eyes pleaded for mercy that would not be granted, for her mother cocked the pistol with grim determination.

Springing from the shadows, Jack tackled the woman and started wrestling her for the gun. The woman squealed, out of fright, or defiance, and counter attacked with a martial arts maneuver that sent Jack spiraling face first into the concrete. The woman quickly climbed to her feet and retrieved her pistol, lifting it to the girl’s head. Jack, shaken by the blow, staggered to his feet and charged the would-be killer again. He caught her on the chin with a closed right fist; the woman dropped to the ground, but refused to yield her weapon. He threw himself upon the woman and started to restrain her, but the woman screamed again and managed to position her body where she lay on top of Jack. She lifted the pistol and squeezed off a shot that clipped the little girl’s pigtail.

The girl shrieked in terror, but stood frozen in place. Jack yelled at her to run, but she was a statue, a tribute to terror. The woman recocked the pistol and held it level again. Jack, out of desperation, grabbed the woman by the head and twisted her neck with a furious effort. A grinding, popping, sound, and the woman was dead, her body twitching as if stung by a thousand invisible bees. As her dead fingers yielded to her nerves, the pistol erupted again, and it flung halfway across the alley. Jack threw her lifeless body aside and ran to attend the little girl. Pedestrians on the street had heard the gunfire and were shouting to dial 911.

Jack became a celebrity. He was the lead story in every legitimate publication through out the world. He was dubbed “Heidi’s Hero,” after the little girl he saved. The change that overcame him was immeasurable, it even him was caught unaware.

Here is what happened: Teresa Carol, the girl’s mother, was a woman heavily taxed with burdens. She grew up under an abusive hand; a series of scars that even time could not heal. Teresa was never married; she bounced from one meaningless relationship to another. The more relationships that exploited her, the worst her behavior became. Then came Heidi, an unwanted child in an unwanted life. Teresa, upon learning that she was pregnant, tried to have an abortion. She went to a clinic and sat down with the counselor, who was concerned about Teresa’s well being. The baby was going to be a terrible burden on a woman that wasn’t even stable herself. The baby would most likely grow up dysfunctional, and therefore, deserved to be spared the anxiety of repeating her mother’s life. Teresa was in trouble, and only an abortion could save her. Her counselor quickly surmised that Teresa must act now, or it would be too late. She agreed to have the procedure—until she discovered that it cost money. When the procedure cost more than she was able to pay, the counselor promptly dismissed Teresa until she could produce the funds.

Devastated, Teresa returned to her pregnancy and determined to find a buyer for her baby. However, Teresa had not realized the emotional attachment she would have for the child. No one had ever loved Teresa; maybe this child would love her.

After Heidi’s birth, Teresa realized love for the first time. Truly, she could not sell her baby. However, as time passed and Heidi became a burden, Teresa decided that child raising was too hard for her. Her boyfriends would yell at Heidi and some of them would shake her when she cried. Secretly, she started to hate Heidi for invading her life. The baby was a terrible burden, just as the counselor had predicted. Teresa wasn’t a good mother. She simply wasn’t ready. After all, she wasn’t very old herself. She kept remembering the words of the counselor, “The baby will grow up as dysfunctional as you are, is that what you want? We must embrace the truth that the procedure is the only option that really works. You are not ready to be a mother. Fortunately, you still have time before you become a mother. Act now, get yourself out of trouble, do the responsible thing.”

For seven years, Teresa heard these words echoing in her sleep until she became obsessed with them. If she simply ended Heidi’s life, then her problems would go away. After all, Heidi was not a woman until she grew older. She served no real part in the community; she was only an added burden. To perform the procedure on her is the only responsible thing to do.

The next morning, Teresa took Heidi to the abortion clinic and asked to have the procedure done for Heidi. The counselor looked at Teresa and then at Heidi for a very long moment. “Are you telling me that Heidi is in trouble? At such a young age?”

“Yes, and I believe that a baby in my life would be too much of a burden. I am not responsible enough to raise a child. I am in trouble and I need you to help me. Will you help me?”

The counselor nodded gently. “Oh course dear, of course. We have never done the procedure on a child so young, or small, but it seems to start earlier all the time these days.” She shook her head as if scolding young girls for getting pregnant. “Of course we can help you. How long has, I’m sorry, what is the little girl’s name and age?”

“Heidi, age seven.”

The counselor looked cautiously at Teresa. “And you think that Heidi is pregnant?” She quickly brushed off the question before Teresa could answer her. She could see the potential to make some quick cash on Theresa. “Of course, you realize that this is a special procedure that we have never done before. It will cost much more than normal, after all, the child is so small.”

Theresa nodded. “My boyfriend gave me one thousand dollars to take care of Heidi. I am really not sure, but he could be the one responsible for her.”

The counselor shook her head. To realize that this woman allowed her child to be molested by her boyfriend, why there should be a crime against that. Of course there was, but there was money in this situation.

“Where should I leave Heidi?”

“I’m sorry? I don’t understand.”

“Where should I leave her so you can do the procedure? I need to meet my boyfriend soon.”

“Well, we can do it now, in just a few minutes.”

Theresa’s eyes watered. “I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry.” She dried her tears with a tissue. “Heidi, I love you and I will miss you a lot. Bye bye.” She turned to leave.

The counselor jumped up. “Ma’am? You can’t leave such a small child in here by herself. You will have to accompany her for most of the procedure.”

“I don’t want to watch Heidi die. I think it would be too hard.”

In a moment of clear realization, she grasped that she was negotiating euthanasia, not an abortion on a seven-year-old. “I think that you have misunderstood, we can’t help you with your problem. Please leave immediately.”

“But you said that an unwanted pregnancy can be terminated. You said that I was not responsible enough to raise a child.”

“Ma’am, this child is a living person, you can’t just kill her!”

“But you told me that my baby was alive, but not a person, just tissue. Heidi is alive, she is tissue. I don’t want her; she is an unwanted child. What is the difference?”

“Ma’am, please leave my office.”

Theresa, thoroughly confused, approached a drug dealer she knew and offered him a thousand dollars for a gun. He accepted her offer and she started walking down the street with Heidi, looking for a place to kill her daughter, to terminate her existence. That is when Jack got involved in Heidi’s life.

Jack had never done anything in his life that impacted society. He had always lived an average life, under average circumstances. He had always imagined that if he had served in the military during a war, he would have been awarded the Medal of Honor. He was always burdened by a strong sense of civic duty that he owed more to America than America had given him. He could feel tears invade his eyes every time he heard the National Anthem. He was a patriot down to his red, white, and blue ties.

He was intoxicated by the feeling he experienced when he saved Heidi’s life. He wasn’t struggling with pride; rather, it was a sense of accomplishment that ignited in him a desire to be excellent again.

Jack was also a very moral man. He would not steal, not even a pen from his office. He hated thieves, for they took what they wanted with little regard for other. He despised liars. He felt that a man must represent the truth, no matter what it cost him. Truth was a matter of conviction, a brand that was burned on his heart.

He also loved life. He loved children, especially babies. He loved the way new babies were perfumed with life, how it enamored them. Once he watched a news story about a family that burned cigarette holes in their baby’s stomach, and became irate.

It would outrage him to see an abusive hand placed on a child. Jack also hated abortion. He believed in the sanctity of human life. He believed that any abortion was a matter of murder, and any doctor that performed abortion should be treated as a war criminal. Even in the cases of incest and murder, abortions were unjustifiable homicides.

Jack had walked in the light of a hero, and could see only what a hero has eyes to see. He saw an opportunity to be a hero again. He would fight for those that were unable to fight for themselves. He would prevent the silent scream, even if it ment his own life. He started a crusade to end the world of abortions.

__________________________

Jack attempted to reason with the doctors, but they refused him an audience. He pleaded with them to stop murdering unborn babies, but his words fell on deaf ears. He surmised that the doctors were too influenced by the money that was in abortions to be objective. He would have to take another approach. However, the politicians seemed to avoid him. He joined lobby groups, but accomplished nothing. He wrote letters, but received no answers. The Republican platform praised his voice for speaking out, but was powerless to change the laws. The religious community hosted him on their television shows and promised to pray, but did not act with him. He was determined to find a way to stop the madness of abortion. He would find a way…

_________________________

Perched just above an abortion clinic with rifle in hand, he waited for the doctor to step out of his BMW. Jack had a perfect angle for a kill; one shot was all he needed. He allowed for distance, he allowed for wind, and then calculatingly squeezed the trigger. The doctor was standing before his Maker before he knew he was dead. This was a doctor that Jack had plead with to stop the murders. The doctor laughed at him and called him “just another wacko right-wing religious nut.”

Jack was stunned at how easy it was to defend the unborn babies unable to defend themselves. The news swarmed the story like flies searching for a pile of defecation. Jack watched the news. He watched an interview with a prominent Pro-life speaker who estimated that the assassin had saved potentially thousands of unborn lives. He disagreed with the action taken, but was thankful for the babies who that doctor “would no longer rip in half and suction through a tube.” Jack also watched an interview with a doctor that publicly condemned the unknown terrorist. The doctor swore an oath, on public television, that he would stand up for the rights of the woman, and work overtime to make up for this injustice. He called on all abortion clinics to increase their working hours to accommodate the violated women, who must also fight for their rights.

Jack wasted no time in closing the doors of that clinic, at lest for a few weeks. Terror engulfed the world, as doctors were being shot all over the Untied States. Three doctors were shot on the same day by three different men. All of whom were arrested that same day. Conservatives had declared war on abortion.

Women were terrified to attend the clinics, for one woman was shot as she exited a clinic in Alabama. Jack would have never killed the mother, for he felt that she was a victim also. Jack now used his public stance to make a television appearance. He declared that the killing of the women must stop, for they had been lied to by the government and by the press. They were victims of the money hungry abortion industry. He made no mention of the doctors slain. He too rejoiced that so many babies had been spared.

The media crucified Jack that night. He was labeled a terrorist, at least by his words. What right did he have to endorse the murder of the doctors, who were only providing a public service? The laws of the Untied States allowed for abortion, therefore it was a just practice. A woman has the right to choose what to do with her body, and no one else could say anything about it.

Jack decided to give a rebuttal. He pointed out that Teresa had the right, under the abortion laws, to choose freely whether or not Heidi would live. What difference did it make if Heidi was breathing the atmosphere? A mother should have the right to choose, regardless of the child’s age. He spat sarcasm at the media and the Pro-choice community. They hated him for it. That night, as the war raged across America, Jack was shot, through the head, by a sniper shouting, “Freedom to the people!”

5 comments:

Alison said...

Wow...this one really makes you think.
It can be such a slippery slope, can't it? It makes me analyze the things that I do and should stand up for, while at the same time making me careful to not start that slide down the slope.
...At least that's some of what I got out of it.

Travis said...

I realize how absurd the story is. However, I also think a strategic point is being made. What is the difference between euthanasia and abortion? What is the difference between murder/assassination and abortion?

Honestly, I struggle with Jack as a character. If he'd lived, I can imagine him starting a secret club called The Brotherhood of Justice, who goes around protecting the lives of the innocent. Of course, God said that vengeance belongs to Him. However, we as a society are responsible to see that justice occurs within our civilization, hence the need for penal institutions. Is it murder to shoot a doctor who will single handedly kill several thousand babies in his lifetime? Or is it murder because abortion is legal? What if the law that protects the doctor is unjust? There are many issues at play here, and I invite all of you to leave your thoughts...

Dave said...

Two quick thoughts (I just finished reading this for the first time)

1) We shudder at the actions of Pharaoh and Herod when they killed young boys in order to take out Moses and Jesus, yet God leads Joshua to slaughter everyone including all the livestock. There's clearly a difference in the situations, but sometimes we need to remember that God does not see things the same way we do.

That being said, I don't struggle with Jack as a character: he's wrong.

2) I also want to comment about the counselor's statement that this child would grow up dysfunctional. Here's a long statement about all of that which really is a continuation of the above statement, God does not see things the same way we do. We tend to view life in the context of what we know and what we experience. For example, let me tell you about a 15 year old named Kyle West. Kyle has been featured on Focus on the Family and is one of my favorite parts from an amazing worldview study called The Truth Project. Kyle has a maturity in Christ that most people never will and he will blow you away if you ever take the time to listen to him (and I'll include a couple of links at the bottom of this comment).

While I think the most amazing part about him is his overwhelming faith in God, most people would tell you it's the fact he has cerebral palsy. This 15 year old has this amazing relationship with God, and I wish mine was that good.

But here's the thought which Kyle brings to my mind: would he be this amazing teenager if he did not have cerebral palsy? What part has his cerebral palsy played in making him who he is today? Would he have this incredible relationship with God if he had not been born with a disability?

I guess here's my point: we see a 15 year old with cerebral palsy and it breaks our heart. We tend to compare people and feel that if they do not line up with "normal," then it is a bad thing. Although in God's economy, I have a feeling that God sees Kyle's disability as this incredible gift. Kyle has a joy for life because he knows how precious it is. Kyle has chances to share the gospel that I never will because of this disability. In God's economy, is his life any less fulfilling than mine because of this disability?

I wonder if we sometimes react wrong when something comes along which is out of the "normal" realm most of us live in. When a pregnant mom/dad learns that their unborn child will have a disability, maybe they deserve a congratulations because God may do great things through that disability. Instead of feeling dejected or even horrified, maybe the mom and dad should feel honored and even excited that God felt they were up to challenge of raising a child with a disability.

I think from God's economy, any life is precious and worthy of living. I bet God even sees the life of the abortion doctors as precious. ;-)

To hear a seven year old Kyle on Focus on the Family (which you should download and listen to), click here.

To hear a fifteen year old Kyle talk about what it means to be a teenager with a disability, click here. (this is a straight 10mb download of the podcast from the need project)

Dave said...

oops...think I messed up a link to the 7 year old Kyle on Focus on the Family.

Try this one

Mike Birkhead said...

Genesis 8 teaches us that the death penalty is the punishment for anyone who takes someone's life. I have no problem with the punishment that was given to the doctors.

The problem I have is that God has specifically given that authority to the State. Was Jack wrong? Yes, because God does not give us authority as individuals to usurp the state. However, I feel the same blunder in my heart when the a man who should be put to death does not die.

It should also be stated that the Bible distinguishes between killing and murder. Exodus 20 specifically states "Thou shall not murder". However, Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is "a time to kill".

One way to think of this is, you can kill a flower, but you cannot murder it. You can kill a cow, but you cannot murder a cow.
A man/woman can be both killed and murdered. An accident can kill someone without there being a murder.

So, when the Bible says that there is a time for us to kill, what does that mean? Does it mean that we should take literally what is presented in Genesis 8: ie. If a man takes one man's life, so by another man his life will be taken for man is made in God's image.

That means murder is an attack on the image of God and therefore requires death itself.