Stop Just Talking
As I mentioned in my last post, today is the 41st anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court to legalize abortion. Over 40 million people have lost their chance at life outside the womb since then.
Let me push pause on the commentary condemning the state of our nation’s values (although that is a valid point).
If you’ve been reading a while, you may have noticed that I’m a believer in practical things. Do I love to talk in theories? Absolutely. But I know that theories/knowledge/education is useless unless it moves from our head to our hands. Right?
So in addition to bemoaning the problem (because God gave us voices for a reason), let’s work on becoming a solution. Here’s what I mean.
There’s a family in your church whose daughter is pregnant…by another church family’s son. They’re not married. He doesn’t seem to be too interested in her anymore. She has a job, but a part-time one, and she’ll have to withdraw from college for at least the next eighteen years, if she chooses to keep the child. If she does, she’ll have to keep working and raise the child herself—a daunting task for someone who wasn’t planning on having a family just yet. She’s not far along, so nobody really notices yet, but she’ll have to make the decision soon, or it will just get harder.
Somehow, their secret is out and your entire church knows what’s going on. When she comes to church—what should be the kindest place around—nobody knows what to do or say. Awkward! She’s given strange looks and cordial smiles, but nobody engages in real conversation with her. They don’t want to condone her behavior by any means, so they’re real careful not to be too kind, lest she think they’re excited for her. They certainly won’t give her a baby shower, because that would be forgiving her actions. (Forgiveness at church?! Gasp!)
She walks out of church for the last time, very unsure of what she’ll do with the baby.
Same girl, same boy, same baby.
But when she comes to church, instead of getting condescending glances and painfully cordial smiles, she’s welcomed. A young mother comes to her side and offers to answer any scary pregnancy questions she might have, and takes her to doctor appointments. She’s asked how she’s feeling, and she collects the phone numbers of those who offer to help her with whatever she needs. At about 7 months, the church throws her a baby shower–she’s going to need all of those things if she’s going to give this baby a chance at life, which is what we want her to do, right?
She walks out of church knowing that she has the support and love she needs to save this baby’s life.
Chances are she’s gone through the “Go-to-your-room-and-think-about-what-you’ve-done” stage of her situation. She’s probably embarrassed. She doesn’t need another reminder of the sin that has happened. (Besides, church people aren’t sinners, are they? Oh wait.) Yes, there was a problem with her behavior (and his), but what’s done is done; now she has a different set of challenges. She hasn’t come to church for condescending or shaming remarks; she has come for healing, for support, for love.
Will she find it here?
Jesus Christ is love. And He’s the one who said these words to a woman caught in the act: “Neither do I condemn you: go and from now on sin no more.”
So Here’s a Practical Answer
…to add to the Right to Life/Choice debate. Church—what are you doing to care for the mothers who choose life and the babies you’ve just rescued? Are you providing for them, helping them, loving them? Or are you just handing them a big bright red A to wear? Might as well point her in the direction of the nearest abortion clinic.
Be careful what your glances, your words, and your body language communicates to her. Go out of your way to love her. You could be saving two lives.
Also check out:
A Better Way to Fight Abortion
October Baby [trailer]
*These scenarios are fictional, not based on anyone I know personally. But I do know they happen.