I found myself greatly amused by a certain post on Twitter awhile back, wherein the writer demanded to know what we pro-life people have done lately for women facing unplanned pregnancies.
“I’ll wait,” she concluded sarcastically, obviously assuming the forthcoming dearth of responses would prove her (pro-abortion) point.
I can only imagine how surprised this woman was by the immediate snowstorm of replies and by the breathtaking scope of compassionate, caring and downright sacrificial actions demonstrated by pro-life people.
As I scrolled down the feed listing everything from adopting special-needs children to starting maternity homes, I eventually found this reply to the original tweet, graced with a chuckling emoji:
“I don’t think this post went the way you wanted it to!”
Pro-life folks do a great deal of good without a great deal of fanfare.
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Here’s the thing: those of us who serve Jesus understand we do this work for Him. Therefore, we follow His directions, not the guilt-driven dictates of an angry world.
Jesus may call some people to open their homes to pregnant teens. He may call others to finance girls’ college educations. He may call still others to adopt infants and children.
And He calls some of us to take on the challenges of running a pregnancy help center.
Whatever we put our hand to, we do out of loving obedience to Christ—not out of fear of what people may think of us.
I want to set your mind at ease as you begin 2020.
If God has directed you to do pregnancy help center work, you don’t need to prove your pro-life convictions by supporting each one of your clients for the rest of their lives. (You know this, but just in case guilt tries to creep in, here’s a fresh reminder.)
Abortion advocates attempt to discredit pregnancy help centers by claiming we do too little for a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy.
If we really care about her, they argue, we would commit to taking care of her and her family for the next eighteen years.
Let’s look at a parallel situation to illustrate the nonsensical nature of this claim.
Professional counselors only help people for a short period of time. Often, they only meet with a client for a number of weeks.
Who in their right mind would claim counselors should help their clients for the next eighteen years in order to prove they care about them?
Who would argue that several weeks of counseling has zero benefit to the counselee?
Truth is, a few sessions with a good counselor can transform a life.
So can a visit to a pregnancy help center.
We are equipped and geared to specialize in a particular type of crisis—that of dealing with the shock of an unplanned pregnancy.
We are trained, educated and experienced in this area. We constantly hone our skills in order to do the best possible job in the realm of our responsibility.
What we do is not only valid—it is vital.
So the first part of being more pro-life than ever in 2020 is to recognize and celebrate that your obedience to the Lord puts you right where you’re supposed to be.
Keep doing this—not to appease the world, but to please your audience of One.
Then, I invite you to join me in a challenge for this next year—and this next decade.
Being pro-life from womb to tomb means we value all human life equally.
It means we base the worth and dignity of every human being on the solid bedrock of imago Dei—that mankind is created in God’s image.
We understand that, regardless of size, level of development, or location, every person deserves protection and love.
We understand the fundamental nature of being human is not dependent on factors such as physical ability or mental condition.
Every human being bears the image of God, whether preborn or elderly, black or white, male or female, athletic or disabled, brilliant or comatose.
Because you’re pro-life and pro-human, you’re already passionate about preserving the rights of the unborn. You refuse to think of them as “less than.”
So here’s the pro-life challenge: besides the unborn, are there others you might be tempted to see as “those people?” (Whenever we think in terms of “us” and “them,” we dehumanize others.)
It could be as simple (and embarrassing) as the folks who cut you off in traffic. Or those annoying shoppers at Walmart.
Or that homeless guy on the corner.
Maybe there’s a trace of racism in your attitude. Or a bit of disdain for the opposite sex.
I suspect each one of us struggles with seeing all of our fellow humans the way our heavenly Father sees them. I know I do.
What if we, as pro-life people, go into 2020 with clearer vision about the people around us?
What if we continually remind ourselves, “That person is God’s image-bearer, worthy of honor.”
Again, I’m not talking about committing to more causes or ministries. Pro-life people don’t need to attempt the impossible in order to prove we care.
We simply need to follow Jesus, who always seeks out the oppressed and marginalized.
Let’s walk with Him into 2020, unconcerned by public opinion—but asking for eyes to see each of His image-bearers as He does.