By now you’ve probably heard about the undercover videos taken of Planned Parenthood executives discussing abortion and the harvesting of baby organs and tissue. If you’re like me, you’ve not watched the videos because you’re worried they will either give you nightmares or cause you to either vomit or to weep uncontrollably.
Well, they should.
We should be disgusted by them. Our hearts should break, our eyes should fill, and our bodies should be racked with sobs for the lives of these unborn babies and the depravity that lead to their deaths.
But, but we can’t stop there.
We can’t simply sit in the brokenness and heartbreak that these facts cause. We are called to do more than that as followers of Christ.
As followers of Christ we aren’t called simply to grieve the loss of these children, though we certainly should as they are our brothers and sisters and God’s precious children. We should also grieve the terrible circumstances that lead their parents, primarily their mothers, to make the horrendous choice that ended in their deaths. But our grief can’t result in judgement! For far too long the church has simply denounced abortion and those who abort and have stopped there. Our voice has been very loud. But where has the love been?
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. ” 1 Corinthians 13:1
It’s very easy for us to sit back in our comfortable lives and judge those who have made the decision to abort. We make the choice to judge without being willing to even consider entering in to the situation and circumstances that lead them to that decision. It’s easy to say they shouldn’t have done that when we haven’t been the scared, single woman facing an unplanned pregnancy that would risk her finishing college. When we haven’t been the woman in an abusive relationship who is threatened with bodily harm, possibly even death by her partner if she doesn’t “get rid of that thing”. When we haven’t been the married couple barely able to provide for the 3 children they already have, wondering how in the world they will be able to care for another.
But you know who we have been, who we can all relate to? A sinful, selfish person, scared and in desperate need of an understanding of our deep depravity and need for Jesus and His grace. Someone desperate to have someone come alongside and walk with us in our trials and fear and to point us to Someone who is greater than our fear. Desperate for someone to say “I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know exactly how it will play out, but I will enter in and walk with you, the resources I have I will share with you. You are loved, you are seen, and together with Christ, we can face this.” We can all picture a time in our life when we were in that situation.
“You are loved, you are seen, and together with Christ, we can face this.”
So as we sit here, either trying to avoid the fact these videos have opened the door to horrendous things, or trying to figure out how we as one person can possibly fix all that’s wrong that created this situation, what are we to do? The answer is two-fold and Jesus himself answered it best in Mark 12:30-31:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
While that may seem like an overly simplistic answer, stop and think about it. Think about all that those two commandments entail.
First, we are called to love God as our Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This means that ALL that we do, we are to do to the glory of God and to make His name great. This also means that we aren’t to do things in our own strength, but we are to instead rely on Him for our strength and empowerment.
Secondly, we are to love our neighbor as we love our self. This should be fairly easy, we all love ourselves and desire to see ourselves thriving and healthy.
Well, guess who your neighbor is in this context? It’s those men and women who are scared, hurting, broken, and desperately in need of Jesus!! We get the PRIVILEGE of carrying out Jesus’ work on this earth and this is a very tangible way in which we can do that!
What does that look like? It looks like donating your time and money to organizations like First Choice Pregnancy Solutions that seek to come alongside these moms and enable them to not only keep their babies, but to thrive and grow and meet Jesus while doing it. It looks like opening your home to a woman who wants to keep her baby but knows that in doing so, she will have no where to go. It looks like helping make reliable birth control cheaper and more easily accessed (not that we are condoning pre-marital or extra-marital sex, but if we can prevent that causing a pregnancy that will be ended, then that goes a long way in my personal opinion). It looks like opening your home to children in the foster system, whether to be a loving place to land for a time while their world is turned upside down, or to be their new forever home. Did you know that in many areas of North Carolina, if each church supported and encouraged 5-15 families in its congregation to foster children, we can ELIMINATE the list of children waiting for a home ?!?
It looks like being willing to lay down our desire for comfort to say “Here I am Lord, how can I use the resources you’ve given me to make a radical difference in the life of one of Your children?”. It looks like living our lives radically different than society so that we have the money, time, and family structure to be able to make this happen. It means giving up our comfort, but you know what, Jesus never promised us a comfortable life! What sort of legacy do you desire to leave on this earth, a legacy of a comfortable, culturally acceptable life, or that of a life that stored up treasure in heaven and followed the call to radically lay it all down for the sake of the Gospel and the furtherance of the Kingdom? And please know, when I write “we and you” here, I am just as much talking to myself as I am anyone else!
I firmly believe that if we as Christians are willing to change the way we respond to this crisis, by loving and not judging, by doing more than speaking out or protesting, we can greatly reduce the number of abortions and the number of children in foster care within 4 generations. It will take great sacrifice on our part, but be encouraged that we follow the call of One who made the greatest sacrifice for us, we do not go into this alone, He is with us!
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
Will you commit with me to asking God what this looks like in for us? Sit and be broken, let your heart break, but don’t let it end there. Turn to the One who has called us to do more, allow Him to radically change the world through you!