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Thursday, 20 September 2018
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How Pro-Life Ministry Encourages Childlike Faith (and Why It Matters)

I sit at the side of a wide mountain lake, water sloshing against the rocky shoreline, a warm pine-scented breeze caressing my arms. The sun sets in a smoky sky, a hot pink ball sinking behind the dark silhouette of evergreen-covered hills. 

Earlier, I spied a couple of spike-antlered bucks browsing in the forest. I listened to the scolding chatter of grey squirrels high up in the big pines, and the cheeping of ospreys on the wing. Occasionally one would fly toward its nest carrying home a prize it had snatched from the jade green waters of the lake.

The beauty of creation helps me slow down, breathe deep, and whisper praise to God. To think He made all this, yet it’s only a shadow of the restored earth which is to come—it’s hard to wrap my mind around this truth. When I stop and ponder the wonders of nature, gratitude wells within me.

I am in awe.

Recently, I saw a video which captured the stunning moment when a human sperm cell enters an ovum. At the moment of conception, a bright flash of light explodes. The spark of life. The beginning of a brand-new person. The mysterious power no scientist can conjure up in a laboratory. 

Wow.

The beauty of creation and the mystery of life—these come from the Author of Life. On any given day, we have multiple reasons to stop and be amazed by His marvelous works. Yet cynicism, weariness, and other distractions constantly threaten to snuff out the childlike sense of wonder which is so critical to our faith.

“Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’" – Luke 18:16-17

I want to enter the kingdom of God. I want to receive it like a little child. Oddly enough, I believe pro-life work helps me remember to approach life in exactly that way.

If you work at a pregnancy center or other pro-life agency, you may not think of yourself and your mission primarily in terms of nurturing childlike faith—yet I believe it’s happening as a side effect in the work you do. I’ll explain.

The woman who visits your center has been steeped in a culture of death. She’s been indoctrinated with anti-Christian worldviews and the existential despair which accompanies them. It’s likely she doesn’t have a high view of her own value as a human being, or of her sexuality, or of the life of her baby. Why would she? 

She’s been hearing the message her whole life, This all happened by itself (or if there is a God, he is irrelevant). Since everything came to be in a random, meaningless way, your choices don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Just do what feels good, or best for you, at the time. Then tell yourself, “No regrets,” and move on.

What a bleak outlook! This woman has been wandering down a dark road of despair, deception, and death. She’s been wading through a sewer of cynicism. 

But then she comes into your center. 

She steps from darkness into light. She enters a place where hope washes away despair, where truth brings clarity. She walks into a different world—a world where she and her child are both valued as God’s precious image-bearers.

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In this realm, the bright spark of a new life is always cause for celebration. In this realm, children are a blessing, a gift given by a loving Creator and Father. In this realm, the woman herself is no random accident. She is treated according to the intrinsic value, worth, and dignity she possesses as a human being created in God’s image. 

Your center gently speaks a radically different message from what she has heard elsewhere.

This client has the opportunity to begin exercising childlike faith in Christ because you minister abundant life to her. At your center, she can begin changing her way of thinking. She can be delivered from the lies which have caused her such hopelessness in the past.

But it’s not just clients who benefit from a pro-life atmosphere. Think of it: Every time we see a fetus kicking and waving on the ultrasound screen, every time we look at the Scriptures concerning what God says about life, every time we see Him do yet another miracle in yet another life, we have cause to celebrate with all of the exuberance of a kid. 

Tweet This: Every time we see God do another miracle in another life, we have cause to celebrate with all of the exuberance of a kid. @susannemaynes

And when we do, our faith becomes contagious.

The beauty of nature is hard to beat as an environment for childlike faith—but a pro-life mission can have the same effect. 

Let’s give God the heartfelt praise He deserves, and celebrate all the marvelous things He does through our work.

Susanne Maynes

Susanne Maynes formerly served as Counseling Director at Life Choices Clinic in Lewiston, Idaho. She blogs on church and culture, spiritual growth, and Christian parenting at www.SusanneMaynes.com and is the author of Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn, an educational devotional designed to help pregnancy centers train and refresh their staff, volunteers, and board members. 

Website: www.susannemaynes.com

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