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A Lifesaver’s Legacy

baby chewing on a block


This seems to be my week for obituaries. A few days ago I did one for John T. Elson, the journalist of “Is God Dead?” fame. Today it’s John Wild, the founder of ultrasound imaging technology.

Wild always knew his work could save many lives: It’s been widely used to detect tumors, for example. But when it first came along (late 1940s/early 1950s), no one could have guessed how many young lives it would save. No one even knew those lives would be in danger.

Ultrasound came to be known as the “Window to the Womb,” letting us see the miracle of human life from its early stages. All the bloodless euphemisms of the “pro-choice” movement — “products of conception,” “potential human” — have a way of melting in the face of the evidence of our eyes: It goes straight to our hearts, faster than the most solid pro-life arguments ever can.

How many lives have been saved directly by ultrasound, when mothers who’d considered abortion looked at their babies and knew they couldn’t go through with it? How many have been saved indirectly, by hearts and minds moved by the images long before life-and-death decisions come up? We’ll never know. Hundreds of thousands, surely. Millions, maybe. You? Someone you know? Someone you’ve met? Whatever the number, every one of them is precious to the Lord.

Newspaper obituaries give us no clue as what Wild thought about abortion. It scarcely matters: What matters is what God did through him.

So what can He do through you? A lot more than you imagine.


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About the Author

Matt Kaufman

Matt Kaufman has been a columnist for Boundless since the site’s founding in 1998, and did a stint as editor in 2002-2003. He’s also a former staffer and current contributing editor for Focus on the Family Citizen magazine. Matt is a freelance writer/editor who spent some years in Colorado, but gave up the mountains for the cornfields: He now lives in his hometown of Urbana, home of the University of Illinois. His house is a five minute drive from the one where he grew up, and he enjoys daily walks around the park where he used to play baseball.

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