Monday, August 23, 2010

A Message

I must get this e-mail once a week. It comes from a local clinic that helps women in difficult pregnancies find alternatives to abortion. The e-mail I get is a prayer list, asking me to pray for these anonymous women and their unborn children. This week there were 14 women on the list, which is pretty much typical. As I scanned the requests it occurred to me that each of these women represented a human being who could be dead within two months. All of them are considering abortion, and to carry through on that choice would mean that their unborn babies would die.

What would you do if you received a message telling you that 14 people you do not know and will never meet could very well be dead before Christmas? I don't know that I've ever thought of it like that before. I stopped in my tracks. I was overwhelmed. Here were 14 real human beings, fully alive, unknowingly facing the prospect of being killed in a matter of weeks; and that by the choice of the only person they've ever known.

I don't know how anything has ever been more unjust than abortion. I really don't. It used to make me angry, but now I just get sad. I'm sad that evangelicalism is trending away from this issue. I'm sad that something so clearly immoral has become so irreparably political. I'm sad that a lot of humans never get the chance to know what it's like to breathe the air. I'm praying for these 14, that they will live to, quite literally, see the light of day.

Most Holy God, you are the Author and Creator of life. We bear your image by the mere fact of our existence. You have established the order of this world, including the method of procreation. You have knit each of us together in the wombs of our mothers. But millions are the souls who cry out from under your altar--the weakest of the weak, the smallest of the small, the truly forgotten and discarded. Their blood testifies against us. Bring justice for them, O God. Bring justice for the very least of all. Cause your Church to rise and remember, to engage and throw down this greatest of all evils. Tear down the idols of our hearts, and take your rightful place on your throne once again, O Great King of all. Amen.


Kelly said...

Andy, this is something I struggle a lot with. I never ever want to end a life - I got teary eyed today when my dad sprayed the wasps that attacked and stung me moments earlier - but it's difficult for me to wish a baby into this world who I KNOW will have terrible parents who will not let him/her be adopted into a loving family. Sometimes my mind goes to - why not let that baby be with Jesus instead of sentencing it to an ugly life. How should I think and/or pray through this?

andy said...

Kelly, this is how I think about it.

1. Quality of life, disabilities, and family environment play absolutely no role in how much an individual human is created in the image of God. We are all 100% created in the image of God.
2. God loves to turn darkness into light. He loves, and is the world's greatest expert at, redeeming impossible situations, coming through in the end, and revealing glory through frailty.
3. A large percentage of humanity, possible a historical majority, have grown up in bad situations, including with terrible parents. But that doesn't mean that prenatal death would have been better than life.
4. God has authored life, but sin has done two things: made that life difficult, and created death.
5. If God had wanted babies facing difficult circumstances to die in the womb, why would he have sent his Son to overcome death? Why would he have spent so much to defeat death and dying? Why would the greatest power of the gospel be to destroy the fear of death, and to give us hope through the other side of it?

I suppose each of these thoughts could be developed further, but let me sum it up by saying God's greatest mercy to us is not to escape difficulty through death but to overcome difficulty through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Kelly said...

Excellent thoughts Andy- as I was reading through your response (and today's post about idolatry), I realized where my original thoughts stemmed from - I'm substituting my judgment for God's. Obviously God see's a baby's life in full and knows all the good and bad that will happen in it, but for some reason, I still see that life as a wild card and I weigh the likelihood of happiness and joy that will occur in that life. Silly me, after all these years I still think I'm smarter than God or that I'm thinking of things that haven't occurred to Him.

My idol is myself.