I was absolutely horrified and disgusted. It made me sick to my stomach. I wanted nothing more than to vomit out the news story I had just read- to purge it from my eyes and memory. But some things, once read, cannot be unread. Let me explain, with the hope that all who read this can walk away with a new perspectiveâ€¦
Betsey Stephens was a helpless 22 day old baby. She had no capability to provide for herself. She had no capability to feed herself. She could in no way care for herself. She NEEDED her parents to be parents. Yet on that dark day of December 23, 2013- right before the most joyous holiday for any child- she met a most horrendous of fates. She was left unprotected from an enemy that sought her life in the most cruel of fashions. An enemy that sought to devour her, to engulf her in pain. This enemy caught her in his clutches, and she suffered for hours before succumbing to his evil plot to end her. And so it was that the sweet baby Betsey passed away at the hand of the great wickedness known as Starvation.
We have all seen how cruel Starvation is. We have seen how he makes his victims suffer. We have seen how he breaks them before taking their life. And we know that he usually comes with great poverty. This would leave us to assume that perhaps the undoing of this child was, in part, due to Starvationâ€™s companion of the Less Fortunate. Perhaps little Betsey met her demise as her parents struggled to make ends meet. Oh, if only it were a heroic story of parents sacrificing of themselves for her sake, in hopes of her survival. But, noâ€¦ There were no heroes here. There was no father willing to protect her. There was no mother wrapping loving arms around her. In fact, the hungry child died-alone.
She lay in the tormenting grip of Starvation, very much alone; all while her â€śparentsâ€ť feasted at an endless buffet. While her stoma h screamed in empty pain, their stomachs bloated with too much food. How ironic that while she died from lack, those very minutes her parents were suffering the effects of gluttoney. And so I ask, who was more cruel- Starvation? Or the childâ€™s parents?
The story is shocking. We would all rise up in condemnation of these parents. We would decry what they have done, our faces twisted in horror at what they have done. But another question must be askedâ€¦ Should we be surprised? Look around you. We live in a society that craves love, yet the only love most seem willing to invest in is the love of self. We sacrifice daily and repeatedly for the love of self. We value not just our lives, but our wants and desires far above the needs of even those we claim to be close to. The truth is, we are more than willing to help others- unless it requires denying ourself of something we feel we deserve.
We are a selfish society. It shows in our spending. It shows in our time spent. It shows in our gluttoney. And then we are shocked when the innocent suffer as a direct result of the guiltyâ€™s self love. But why? Why are we horrified? Why are we shocked?
We must come to grips with this reality: our society is on a crash course with self destruction. We need to wake up and stop being so obsessed with ourselves. Despite what we would like to believe, the universe does not revolve around us. We are surrounded by people who are sick and dying; donâ€™t you think itâ€™s time to separate ourselves from the endless feeding trough buffet of selfish desires and reach out with true love? Isnâ€™t it time to stop throwing used band-aids at wounded people and take the time to offer true and complete healing?
Let us be clear on something: we may all stand and condemn the parents of Betsey Stephens; but unless we starve our own gluttony, unless we remove the idol of self from our hearts, we are not much betterâ€¦