Dr. Frederic Loomis faced a
very difficult decision, should he allow the deformed baby about to
be delivered to live or die. He had only seconds to decide. Dr.
Loomis had delivered hundreds of babies, but this one was different.
The infant lay in a breech position, promising at best a difficult
and dangerous birth. One of its feet stretched only to the knee of
the other leg. Furthermore, the child was missing a thigh. The
mother, a frail person visiting the sterile delivery room for her
first time, wasn't aware of the grossly deformed child struggling to
Dr. Loomis closed his eyes; at his fingertips squirmed a pitiful
creature yet unborn. Would not the most loving thing be to detain
the birth long enough to cause the child to be stillborn? He
agonized within himself. Will this kid not be considered a freak, a
twisted burden to its delicate mother?
How can I justify playing a
part in such a cruel drama? Surely no one will ever know if I spare
this family from inevitable pain. The doctor, through the baby's
cord, felt its heartbeat- dancing in rhythm to his own wildly racing
As Dr. Loomis continued to prevent the birth, he felt the normal
foot pressing for passage into the world. Suddenly, he could no
longer justify "playing God." Instead, he would trust God to care
for this child against what seemed to be impossible odds. Dr. Loomis
delivered the infant into the world, which, he sensed, would be very
In the years that followed, Dr. Loomis often second-guessed his
decision. He watched the anguish of the family as desperate parents
sought in vain to find some correction for their child's deformity.
Even after they moved away, Dr. Loomis continued to lament the
burden that he'd saddled on the family. The heartache, if often said
to himself, was his fault. In time, however, Dr. Loomis would find
peace. It came at an unexpected time and place, the hospital
Typically, it was during the holiday season when his pain seemed
most severe. He couldn't shake the image of that unfortunate child
from his mind. While the world celebrated the greatest birth ever
known, Dr. Loomis obsessed over the saddest birth he'd ever known.
At this particular party, the most heavenly music filled the room.
The sadness seemed to dissipate as the rich tones of "Silent Night"
washed Dr. Loomis' anguished spirit.
Following the concert, a woman approached him. "Doctor,"
she said excitedly. "You saw her!"
Dr. Loomis studied the woman's face, wanting to recognize her but
unable to recall the memory. "I'm sorry. I should know you, but you
may need to help me."
"Don't you remember the little girl with only one good leg,
seventeen years ago?"
Remember....it was the one thing in his life that he couldn't
In disbelief, he listened to her story. "That baby was my daughter,
Doctor. And I saw you watching her play the harp tonight! She has an
artificial leg. She's doing well."
At her Mom's bidding, the lovely harpist walked toward them.
With tears in his eyes, Dr. Loomis enveloped the girl in his arms.
"Please," he said in a tightening voice, "please play Silent Night
for me one more time."
"The young lady returned to her harp and played his request with
poise and perfection. As she played, Dr. Loomis reflected on the
incredible gift of life. He thought about the sanctity in every
person, and he exhaled seventeen years of questions and wondering
whether or not it was wise to grant a baby its life.
All babies are loved by God from their conception. To take any
child's life from the day of their conception is destroying someone
created in Gods image.