I’ve always been pro-life. That said, 10 years of working at a pregnancy center has given me a greater resolve and broader perspective concerning the sanctity of human life than I ever had before.
The pro-life mission is bigger than rescuing pre-born babies from death by abortion (though we do hope to accomplish this). It’s about the sacredness of every human life, no matter what age or circumstance.
This is no cakewalk. We endure hate speech and smear campaigns and fake clients, not to mention bearing the burdens of those we serve.
But here’s the beautiful thing: no matter how much spiritual warfare I face, no matter how nasty the opposition gets, no matter how emotionally strenuous the work, being pro-life allows me to experience love, joy, hope and peace on a daily basis. Here’s what pro-life work has done for me:
1. I see beauty in all people.
Every human being is a unique image-bearer of God, created for his glory and his purposes, worthy of dignity and protection.
It doesn’t matter whether a person is healthy, attractive and successful, or disabled, elderly and homeless. The adored Hollywood actress, the maid at the motel, the little boy with Down syndrome: all possess the same intrinsic worth.
God offers us all his favor, but he doesn’t play favorites. Seeing beauty and value in every person, just as God does, fills me with his love for others.
2. I see purpose in every conception and birth.
Some folks are here despite the fact that their mothers were pressured to abort them. I look for opportunities to speak blessing where there may have been a curse of rejection. Sometimes it’s a young woman who needs to hear that God wanted her to be here. Sometimes it’s a dad. Sometimes it’s their child.
When a young mother leaves her baby with me as she goes to leave a sample for a pregnancy test, I look into that child’s eyes and say:
"You are a delight to your heavenly Father. He planned for you to be here. May you always know his love and glorify him with your life."
Those youngsters look at me quietly, steadily, drinking in the truth. It delights me to participate in God’s plan for them in a small, yet significant way.
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Seeing purpose in every conception and birth gives me joy.
3. I see hope for women and men victimized by abortion.
Legal abortion has robbed millions of people of love, joy, hope and peace. It has twisted our perspective, making us view human beings as commodities. Abortion has placed the crushing burden of deciding who should live or die on our frail human shoulders. We can’t carry such a God-sized weight and expect to be lighthearted.
But over and against this, we have such good news to offer: the blood of Jesus washes away all sin, including abortion. His grace transforms the human heart and replaces guilt and sorrow with hope and peace.
Here’s how I put it in my educational devotional, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn:
“Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter? Today’s scarlet A stands for abortion. A woman branded with this A may have been in an emotional dungeon so long she can’t connect the dots anymore. She doesn’t know why she’s depressed, anxious, and disconnected. A post-abortive man may not realize why he avoids ‘good’ men, has trouble connecting with his family, keeps changing jobs, or struggles with feelings of unworthiness. These hearts drag heavy chains.
Then one day, someone shows them the way out. They blink in the brightness of newfound freedom, finally breathing clean air, no longer a captive—instead, a trophy of God’s grace.
With a sense of humility and honor, we come alongside those trapped by shame and watch them take hold of God’s undeserved favor… As part of the life-affirming movement, you could be one who unlocks prison doors with the keys Jesus gives you.”
Seeing women and men forgiven and set free after abortion fills my heart with hope.
4. I see God’s plan for this planet.
I don’t fret that there are “too many people” on the earth. God told Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28)
Our heavenly Father wants lots of children. Yes, we should be good stewards of the earth, and yes, God cares even for the sparrows (Matt. 10:29)—but sparrows and whales and chimpanzees are not created in His image. We are.
One day, we won’t need to worry about climate change or oil spills or California sliding into the ocean. The earth will be renewed. Seeing God’s plan for the planet, and aligning with his priorities, gives me peace.
Hillsong’s “So Will I” puts it this way:
“I can see Your heart eight billion different ways, every one a precious child You died to save; if You gave your life to love them, so will I.”
Love. Joy. Hope. Peace. These gifts are ours when we see human life as God does.