Reviewed by Tanya Tufanova
3 MINUTE READ
The Luke’s Journal editorial team is aware that this article has political implications and that, since publication, legislation may have changed nationally or in your state of residence and practice. Luke’s Journal advises that you contact your State chair if you have any questions or concerns regarding implications for your clinical practice.
“Then God said, “ Let Us make mankind in Our image,
according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the
fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over
the livestock and over all the earth, and over every
crawling thing that crawls on the earth.”
“Don’t cry, love,” Jennifer says, sliding her arms around her daughter’s shoulders.
“I know I shouldn’t anymore,” Carolyn says, “but it still stings when people say my life’s not worth living.”
Jennifer smooths Carolyn’s hair with her hand. “Of course. Whose heart wouldn’t tear in two? Should I change the channel?”
Carolyn sighs. “No, leave it.”
“Women should have the right to terminate a pregnancy,” a voice emanating from the TV set says. “What about malformed foetuses? You expect them to live out their days in an asylum? That’s heartless.”
“It’s not heartless,” Carolyn says. “I live an amazing life, and I don’t live it in an institution. I live independently in my own home.”
I worry that this scenario plays out more often than we know.
It seems these days there’s a multitude of opinions on how our country should run. Or perhaps it’s always been this way. Perhaps it only seems that way because some groups are more vocal now.
There’s a litany of opinions from what to do with boat arrivals, to whether we should celebrate Australia Day. This diversity of views also surrounds the issues of abortion and euthanasia. These are issues that even divide those who claim to follow Jesus. Nevertheless, as politicians and activists ‘debate’ if we should end the life of another human being, there are people listening who hear and understand a lot more than we often give them credit for.
“… as politicians and activists ‘debate’ if we should end the life of another human being, there are people listening who hear and understand a lot more than we often give them credit for.”
That’s what I found when I read Heidi Carter’s wonderful book, I’m Just Heidi! Living Life to the Full with Down’s Syndrome.
I know it certainly opened my eyes. Born in Coventry England, Heidi has fired an admirable campaign to change English laws which allow women to kill their unborn child if it’s deemed it has a severe disability, fearing it will impact the child’s quality of life. Heidi hasn’t won yet, but with her fighting spirit and God on her side, I can’t see how she won’t.
Heidi acknowledges life with Down’s Syndrome isn’t always plain sailing. She has suffered hospitalisations and cyber bullying, but who of us, whether we have a syndrome or not, can say that we have lived a life free of challenges? Heidi now has a paying job and has married a man whom she loves with all her heart.
I hope Heidi’s absorbing book will fall into the hands of expectant parents whose unborn baby has received a diagnosis of severe disability. It will allay their fears and fill them with excitement at what babies with congenital conditions can achieve with parental love and God’s providence.
“Despite the diversity of views on an ever-growing number of issues, I hope that someday we’ll unite in the belief that all lives are precious, no matter what their stage of development or their level of sickness.”
I also hope politicians, voters, activists and healthcare providers of all categories, positions and political persuasions will read Heidi’s experience of living with a disability. It will remind them, or inform them for the first time, that we’re all made in God’s image for the purpose of reflecting God’s glory.
Despite the diversity of views on an ever-growing number of issues, I hope that someday we’ll unite in the belief that all lives are precious, no matter what their stage of development or their level of sickness. Instead of extinguishing their lives, let’s think of including them and helping them find their God-given purpose.
The Bible says God has given us all talents – some five and others one. Let’s benefit from the talents God has given all of us and enjoy the wonderful company people with disabilities can give.
I’m Just Heidi! Living to the Full with Down’s Syndrome.
by Heidi and James Carter with Steve and Liz Crowter
2022 Day One Publications , UK.
Tanya Tufanova is a personal care worker and aunt to one nephew and five nieces, once of which has a chromosome disorder and a learning disability. She enjoys sharing with others how valuable people with disabilities are and loves telling how God can forgive us of even the worst sins.