This morning I went to an abortion clinic. I grew up believing that I’d never be in a situation that would force me to visit this type of clinic. So, a few months ago, when a wonderful friend of mine invited me to go with her once a month to pray for the women visiting the clinic I didn’t have a strong desire to go with her. In fact, I turned her down for several months. Don’t get me wrong I am pro-life. I believe that children are a gift from God. I believe they are human beings from the moment they are conceived, no matter how they are conceived. But like most human beings, I’m terribly selfish. I had a million excuses of why I couldn’t go with my friend; it was too early (and I needed my sleep!); it’s too cold (I despise winter!); my friend was already going there and doing it (what did they need me for?); etc. etc.
However, my excuses stopped when God gently reminded me that I am the children’s pastor. If I am not the largest advocate for children in my circle of influence then who would be? If I say that I love children (and believe me, I do!) then how could I not get involved with the ministry trying to prevent the loss of children? I agreed with the Lord’s gentle reminder and told my friend I’d be coming along this month.
I know well the arguments for pro-choice; if a family isn’t financially able to bear the burden they shouldn’t; if a woman was raped why would she want a reminder of that every day?; if the baby is going to grow up un-cared for or physically/mentally handicapped why not spare it that pain?. Rather than giving facts and figures as answers to these arguments, I’d rather just answer with this: there is hope. A stream of women drove past me today while I stood on the corner praying and weeping. I couldn’t help wonder what each lady’s circumstances were. There were some driven by their father or their mother. Some were driven by their husband or boyfriend. And some simply drove in by themselves. While we watched each woman enter the clinic, we didn’t shout condemnation or judgment but only, “You have a choice. We’d love to talk with you. We love you no matter what.” Most ignored us; some became irate. Out of the twenty women who walked in, we only witnessed one couple who changed their minds. We celebrated with them.
You might be like me. You might believe that abortion is wrong. You might believe that anything with a beating heart is a live-being whether they happen to live inside a womb made just for them or outside the womb in a house. You might believe that something should be done. You might believe that the laws should be changed. You might believe that if there were just somebody to intercept these women and tell them that there is hope, tell them they are loved, tell them that you will help them through a difficult season; that then the act of abortion may well be legal, but they just won’t be necessary anymore. But like me, you might not have done anything about it, putting it off onto the actions of others.
Why do I tell you all of this? Because children, born and un-born, matter! Because after putting faces to the endless statistics I’ve read over the years, my perspective has changed. Because I sat by for way too long with personal excuses for not getting involved and with judgment for those who thought their only choice was to visit an abortion clinic. As Christians, we have to stand in the gap! We have to make ourselves available to those who are contemplating abortion or are post-abortion with a message of love and hope. I’ve heard from many that the condemnation, shame, and guilt of post-abortion is what is hardest to live with. Congress will never make the laws necessary to make this nation one that is Christian, especially on their own. It is up to us as individuals and as churches to step in where Congress and democracy fall short.
Here are a few ideas for how to get involved wherever you are:
· Get a group of friends together and go to your local abortion clinic to reach out to the women there peacefully and to pray. Make sure to check your state’s laws about boundary lines and remember always preach hope in Jesus rather than hate.
· Volunteer your time or donate your money to a pro-choice clinic. Women who are debating whether or not to have an abortion need warm, friendly people to sit and talk with.
· If you’re blessed financially, consider donating to those who help counsel women on their choices regarding pregnancy and life.
o Go big with donations of diapers and general starter-baby supplies that most first time moms don’t have (cream, clothes, formula, bottles, etc)
· If you have a friend who has had an abortion, talk with them and let them know that you love them. Most women hide this part of their lives, and the pain kills them inside almost daily.
· Write to your congressmen and women. Don’t wait for congress to change the laws to fit your religious beliefs. They won’t do it on their own. We do have a voice and we must unite! This is more important than getting Phil Robertson back on to his TV show!
· Comment and add your own ideas! The unborn children of the world thank you.