When I was a resident Chaplain at the University of Kentucky, I would often baptize those who were dying. On one occasion, I was given the task of baptizing an aborted child that did not make it through labor. I was given a small fetus that was not much bigger than my thumb. I remember wondering what this infant’s mother looked like and who was the father. What were they going through? I wondered who was helping them through their grief.
This fetus was given to me in a back room by the nurse to baptize before further procedures were to take place. In the back of my mind, I began to imagine what this child’s life would have been like if this child had of lived. What baring on the parents would all this create in their heart and in their soul?
I do know that this took place over 16 years ago. I can still remember this event as though it were yesterday. I was alone with this fetus and nurse. I did anoint this child. In a way, I believe the child anointed me as well. This child, to this day, has left an image in my mind and heart that lives and breathes through my recalling this story. This child has left an imprint on my Soul and shown me a way into Eternity.
Samuel Oliver, author of, “What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living”