Dear 7 Billlionth Baby,
Welcome to our world!
I suspect that you will never read this. In fact, I more strongly suspect that you will never be able to read this. “Why is that,” you ask? Chances are you were born in Asia. In fact, statistically speaking you are most likely the newest addition to your 1.5 billion-strong people group: the Han Chinese. (I hope they didn’t all try to come visit you at the hospital.)
Scientists tell us that you were born on October 31. A Halloween birthday, huh? That’s actually quite appropriate. Your new life came on the day that many celebrate death. Kind of a fitting paradox if you ask me. As you’ll soon discover: life and death are the only two things we’re guaranteed in this world. (Oh yeah, taxes, too. I’m holding out for the Fair Tax. Or at least the 9-9-9 plan.)
Let me warn you up front: planet earth is both wonderful and awful at the same time. On the wonderful side, we have such breath-taking things as the Grand Canyon, birthday parties, books, foot massagers, Golden Corral, Blu-Ray and Star Wars. Unfortunately, we also have horrible things like famine, war, genocide, Dancing with the Stars, and the Indianapolis Colts’ 0-7 start this year. Some of those things are much worse than the others. I hope you learn that in a classroom and not by experience.
As I said, this terrestrial ball is both beautiful and ugly at the same time. It’s kind of a “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde” thing. “Who is Dr. Jekll and Mr. Hyde,” you ask? Oh, yeah. That’s one of those awesome books I was telling you about. (I assume it’s available in Chinese.)
Nevertheless, on behalf of the other 6,999,999,999 of us already here, I’d like to give you the grand tour of the human race as we know it.
First of all, let me just say it is a small miracle that you are even here. Not only because procreation, itself, is a biological marvel that defies countless odds, but mostly because we live in an awful world where the killing of unborn babies is now routine. In fact, 1 in every 3 children are aborted within a few weeks of conception. You know better than anyone that a mother’s womb should be the warmest, safest place on planet earth. Many times every day, though, it resembles a vile butcher shop.
Where I live, in America, we have 1.4 million abortions each year. Some of us are praying and working to rid our country of this heinous and brutal genocide. I hope that happens some day. Even more sad, though, is this: even if we (in the U.S.A.) were to succeed in eliminating abortion in our land, that would still mean that 94% of the total worldwide abortions would continue. This year alone, over 15 million of your unborn companions will also die that way. Everyone deserves the chance to live. I hope you realize, sooner rather than later, just how blessed you are to be alive.
Second of all, if you have been born in China or India (as is likely the case) you have probably been born into abject poverty. I hate to tell you this, but getting out of the womb safely was only the first big hurdle to your “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
Sadly, 7.6 million babies, toddlers and school-aged children die every year on our planet. Even more sad, they die from preventable disease and basic malnourishment. Believe it or not, scientists tell us that we even have enough food to feed everyone alive. We just don’t have the infrastructure to put the food on everyone’s table. I think the least that we, your fellow human beings, could do is give the 7 billionth person three square meals a day. Chances are, though, you will be fortunate if you get even one.
“What is poverty,” you ask? Well, let me put it this way. Along with about half of our world’s population, you will likely survive on less than $2 per day. You probably won’t own a house, a car or an Ipad. In fact, you may never even own a pad of paper. That sounds depressing, but can I tell you a little secret? Even though we all pretend that it does, truth be told: stuff will not make you happy. Mark my words.
Third of all, if you do call China or India home, you have most likely be born atheistic or Hindu. Now let me warn you, religion is kind of a big deal here on planet earth. Some of us humans live for our religion; others of us kill for it. Even still, we don’t talk about religion (or politics) in certain company. It’s apparently not polite.
I’m sure, right now, your new civilization seems complicated on so many levels. In one sense it is very complicated. In another sense it is not. The bottom line is that all of these horrible things: abortion, famine, poverty, and religious conflicts are related. The common thread to each of them is sin. Sin is our big problem here on planet earth. Many of us try to ignore it, play the victim, blame our DNA, or embrace it, as if it were something good. Deep down, though, we all know that something is terribly wrong.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Wow, planet earth seems horrible!! Abortion, murder, famine, poverty, religious conflict, and sin!!??? I mean, isn’t there anything good about being alive?” There sure is. In fact there’s One thing that makes life worth living; His name is King Jesus. And He is slowly, but surely, reversing the effects of sin one person at a time. Like everyone else born before or since, Jesus also lived and died. But, unlike everyone else, He came back from the dead and is still alive!
And now, He is calling men and women, from the U.S.A., China, India, and everywere to be a part of His special people. Then, when all is said and done, He is going to take this sinful earth and make it into something new: without murder, abortion, sickness or death.
As I said, I may never meet you. But I am holding out hope that one day, maybe –just maybe– one of my children or grandchildren will meet you. I hope they have the privilege of telling you about our King Jesus. I hope you’ll listen to them.
I’m sure this is a lot for a six-day old baby to take in. But rest assured, if you will trust Jesus, we’ll have an eternity to figure these things out…together.
*My thanks to Frank Turk for this idea.