Monday, October 19, 2015

Rethinking Pro-Life

This is a topic where my insides scream and sob and my fingers can't begin to type what my heart is crying.  I just sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks, and I don't even know where to begin.  So forgive me, because it's messy and raw, and I can't seem to make it all line up like it should.

This is a topic where everyone draws a line and chooses sides and wants it all to be black or white.  

This is a topic that has gotten so legalistic and Pharisaical in my Pentecostal Evangelical world that I just want to scream.

We are missing the point.  

We are alienating and labeling so many women.  So many doctors.  So many people. So. Many.

And here I am.

Struggling and sick to my stomach about how to deliver a Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice message to my group of teenage girls.  Dreading the topic because I can't wrap my heart around delivering a message clothed in legalism and judgement.  

First, I'm going to back up for a minute and clarify a few things. 

Do I believe life begins at conception?  Yes.

Do I believe abortion is wrong?  Yes.

Do I believe God has a plan for every life?  Yes. 

And that's why I can't. 

That's why I can't support arguments that put the majority of the focus on the murder of an unborn child and barely mention God's forgiveness available to every woman who chose abortion.  To every doctor who regularly aborts unborn children.  To those who make excuses or rationalize choice.

I can't do it.  

I can't because when I think of abortion, I don't cry for the baby.  My heart rips in two for that girl. That woman who went through it.  The one so many want to cast as the unwed she-devil who selfishly chose her life over the life of an innocent child.  It's so much easier to judge when we've made up our mind about the sinner ahead of time, isn't it?  

But I can't.  

I've sat in rooms with women who were contemplating abortion and listened... doing my best to appear unbiased.  I've cried with those who have come undone, reliving the abortion they didn't choose to have.  I've regretted not being there for friends who went through the procedure without telling me, thinking I would judge them because of my beliefs.  I've wept for that baby I never knew... but I've sobbed for the women who had to make that choice.

Here's the thing.  We'll just get it out of the way in case anyone is sidetracked by the thought.  
I've never had an abortion.  I don't truly understand.  By the grace of God, my unplanned pregnancy just happened to be with the man I married eight months later.

But God's grace is for us all.  Not just me and my less than innocent, but abortionless, past.  

And here's the thing I think I am struggling with the most.  We profess that our God is omniscient and all-powerful and then bemoan the loss of an innocent life like God had no control over it.  

What?  Did we just give Planned Parenthood more power than our God?

I'm going to argue something different.  I'm going to argue that God knew from conception, that every life lost to an abortion was going to end when it did.  That "harlot" didn't foil God's plan.  That abortion clinic on the corner isn't single-handedly ridding our world of potential.  

I'm going to argue, because I know it to be true... what the enemy intends for evil, God works for good... (Genesis 50:20).  I'm going to argue that every tiny soul lost to abortion, God uses for good. My God is stronger than politicians and abortion clinics and legalism and picketers full of hate.  My Jesus would never hold a sign and scream "Murderer" to a woman full of fear, walking into a clinic.  He would hold out open arms and show her grace.  He would draw a line in sidewalk chalk and invite those of us without sin to continue holding our signs (John 8:3-11, loosely translated).  And we would have to drop them all and walk away.  And He would show her Love.  He would show her Grace.  And if she chose her abortion any way... He would use it for Good.  Because my God is in control.  And my God loves with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).  He can rebuild us all from the past that has made us crumble.   

My Jesus died for the woman who has chosen abortion over and over and is proud to shout it out. My Jesus died for the girl who had her choice made for her over twenty years ago and still cries herself to sleep at night.  My Jesus died for the doctor who performs abortions every day. My Jesus died for everyone.  His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

While there are so many who want to focus on the loss of life, the murder of an unborn child... I'm rejoicing because every one of those babies is in Heaven right now, being loved by their Father.  And He is using their death for good. When we focus on crucifying women and doctors and politicians, we aren't really as pro-life as we think we are.  If we truly want to be pro-life, we need to love all the lives involved.  We need to love that woman, that doctor, that politician, that lobbyist. We need to show forgiveness and open our arms and be Jesus.  Because that's what He expects from us.  That's why He died for us.  

Where sin increased, grace increased all the more... Romans 5:20.  

As I write this, my tears are falling for women...  I want them to feel His love and forgiveness and be able to walk freely in His Grace, regardless of their past.  I want them to know God values their life as much as He values every other life.

As I write this, my tears are falling for my girls.  The teens I hope never have to make that choice or have it made for them.  The teens I pray learn to love as Jesus loves... with open arms and abundant grace, so they can truly show the world what pro-life means.  

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