I had prayed for everybody: my talking family, cousins far away, passerby, and all the lonesome Christians. I expected to be heard. My voice was certainly the loudest.

Grace Paley, “The Loudest Voice”


There have been various updates about the little girl Cecily’s situation on Dave Hinsburger’s blog Chewing the Fat, all of which are worth a read, but suffice to say she’s on the mend and doing well. We couldn’t be happier, and wish her and her family all the best.

In Sis-Update, Cecily’s mother writes a touching-if-unsettling letter detailing how she ran into some of the same prejudice with Cecily’s surgeon as she had with her daughter’s “well-wishers.” Personally, I find this chilling. So does Dave, apparently, and in What If? he writes with intense yet understated anger about what might have happened had Cecily not been able to handle the situation and win her doctor’s heart quite as much as she did.

As a mother, I cannot imagine having to wage a constant uphill battle against a presupposition that my child’s life had inherently less worth than that of another child. I really want to be an intellectual about matters of faith–I really do. I want to be one of those people about whom it’s said: Well, she’s certainly no zealot, you can’t put all religious people into the same box, look at how intelligent she is. The sort of person who makes calm, reasoned, brilliant atheists realize that there can be calm, reasoned, brilliant… theists. And yet, when I begin to stray from the theoretical into the realm of actual belief, I keep coming back to these issues on which I will admit no argument. Like Cecily. Or Katie. Or Ashley. I suppose I’m not really ready to fit them into a sane, reasoned defense of an ordered universe.