A few months ago, a friend of mine had a beautiful baby boy. Beautiful, but in critical condition. He had a bad heart. After some time in NICU, the doctors concluded he would need a transplant. Upon hearing this news, and seeing his picture, my heart melted. All things considered, my kids are perfectly healthy. Yet I knew what my friend was feeling. I put the call out for prayers and immediately hit my knees.
Another friend later approached me and told me she had a hard time praying for this baby because she knew that if he got a new heart, then another baby had to die. I had the same feeling. In fact, the night earlier I had a dream where I was in the OR and it was my baby on the operating table. In came the doctors wheeling in another baby. I was told, "just say the word, and we'll pull the plug and your baby will be healed." I couldn't make that call. Yes, it would save my baby, but I couldn't sacrifice another. I quickly woke up in tears.
I then talked to my friend. Turns out that there was a heart available the weekend prior. But the heart was too large. The kicker? The donor was a baby who had just drowned. I was shattered when the reality hit that another baby had to die so that this baby could live.
But I was reminded of another baby who had to die so that others could live.
"Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.'" (John 12:23-24)
Another baby did die a little more than a week later. My friend's baby got a new heart. He's now home, healthy, happy and loved. But there is another home that is a little more empty right now. Yet I'm confident that it wasn't just this baby who got a new heart. I did too and I pray so did the family that is now one less.