Ahead of Sanctity of Life Sunday, Joni Eareckson Tada, an advocate for people with disabilities, and evangelist Nick Vujicic opened up about their personal struggles and shared why they believe life is sacred from conception to death.
In a Facebook live video on Thursday, Tada, founder of the charity Joni and Friends, told Vujicic, head of the evangelistic ministry Life Without Limbs, that today, it's not just the unborn whose sanctity of life is questioned: It's the elderly, those with catastrophic disabilities, and people suffering from psychiatric disorders.
There's a pervasive mentality today that people are "better off dead than disabled," Tada lamented, but abilities "don't determine our value." She noted that there are 27 states in the U.S. that are entertaining physician-assisted suicide bills and urged believers to "get involved" by reaching out to their state senator and representatives.
"Life is worth living," she emphasized. "Disabilities are a fact of life ... the only way we can accept our limitations, whether great or small, is to recognize that we are created equal. And we're all created equal in that we're all born into original sin."
Ascribing value to life, the author and speaker said, it's "directly related to what we think about God."
"It's not connected to whether or not we can walk, whether or not you've got arms, or whether or not my hands work," she said. "It's anchored in the fact that God made us. When you talk about your worth ... it's all directly connected with the price that was paid for us ... the precious blood of Christ."
"You want to know your worth? You want to know your price? Think about God, and what He paid for you," she continued. "If we believe it's beneath our human dignity to be weak or to be helpless ... then we're operating out of pride. There's no room for pride when you stop and think that you're made in the image of God. When you realize you're made in the image of God, there's only humility."
Tada reflected on her own struggles, and admitted that becoming a quadriplegic following a "reckless dive" at age 17 took a "long, long time" to get used to.
"I went from captain of the women's lacrosse team in high school to being in a wheelchair without the use of my hands or legs," she said. "It was more than just a little depressing."