I was honored the other day to conduct the funeral of Lydia Hope. Her life of just over seven weeks is a testament to the value of all life. Any reader of the Bible can clearly see that Jesus loved and loves children.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
Jesus warned people that might not value little lives that failing to do so would be perilous. Lydia Hope was an especially little life. Her mother had carried her for just under 24 weeks. Lydia was born on May 27, long before her September 17. Lydia’s parents, Alan and Cari, gave this little life a biblical name. You can read about Lydia in Acts 16 where we see a woman . . .
Lydia is a biblical name that comes from a godly woman in the book of Acts. In chapter 16 Paul arrived in Philippi and the Scripture says . . .
. . . named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
Lydia’s family and friends fell in love with the color purple. They gave Lydia the middle name of Hope. Lydia’s parents had a lot of hope. For more than seven weeks their lives were turned upside down. Yet they did not see this little life as an hindrance. Instead they loved her, sang to her and held her. Their behavior embodied the teaching of Jesus after children were brought to Him.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
In Jesus’ day there were many who saw children as a hindrance. Perhaps there were others who saw them as a tool to be used for one’s own benefit. Little has changed as we have seen videos in recent days of those who have callously discussed the selling of the body parts of little lives. It is critical that we understand God cares for little lives, and His care for them began long before their conception.
In the book of Ephesians the Apostle Paul wrote . . .
. . . even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.
God was focused upon the life of each and every person before time began. Every parent and every person has a decision to make about how they will honor life and how they will treat a child. Jesus once took a child and said . . .
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
In the case of Lydia Hope, when her parents loved her, sang to her, and held her; they were loving, singing, and holding Jesus. Some might think their efforts were in vain or even wonder if Lydia Hope were aware of them. However, it was breathtaking to see Lydia respond to the skin to skin technique or to open her eyes when she heard her father’s voice. I could not look at this precious life without being reminded of Psalm 139.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
In a day when so many see little lives as just a group of body parts let us remember it was God who made Lydia and all the other little lives like her. God thought about Lydia and has a chapter in His book about her. Let us all care for little lives like Lydia Hope’s parents cared for her. Lydia Hope and all of the other little lives matter.