A couple weeks ago I saw this story on Dateline and it broke my heart:
Ann Curry did an expose of the horrid conditions endured by adults and children who were in institutions in this country. Most of these people were developmentally disabled, living with relatively mild cases of Down's Syndrome and celebal palsy, yet often taken from their families at birth and living their entire lives in institutions where they lives in cribs and atrophy mentally and physically and wither away.
My only comfort comes from knowing that these people are who Jesus weeps over and that He deeply cares about. As He said in Luke,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has annointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed:
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
(Luke 4:18-19, NKJV)
It is sad that we live in a world that devalues life just because someone is different, through no fault of their own. But, because they do not live up to societal expectations of what cool, or sophisticated, or popular, or valuable is, that they are marginalized and are made to feel less important, less valuable, less of a person.
Jesus' harshest condemnations in Scripture were directed at the so-called "religious" types that thought they were better or more important that anyone else. It is sad that too many of our churches and too many Christians struggle to see the value in each person. We snicker behind their backs, keep them from discovering their gifts and serving the Lord, and it breaks God's heart when we do.