Christmas refreshes my appreciation for the story of the birth of Jesus, especially as I’ve been reading Luke lately. The reunion of Elizabeth and Mary is heartwarming as they share their mutual excitement of pregnancy. Elizabeth’s reaction is deeply moving: “When she heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb…” Obviously, the very young John the Baptist was pretty excited to meet the mother of his Lord and Savior! As we’ve been discussing in Sunday school, scripture backs up scripture, and Luke 1:44 and Exodus 21:23 support God’s love for life in the womb. What should be the safest place in the world, has tragically become a battleground.
January 22nd marks the 41st year of legalized abortion in the United States. Roughly 55 million babies have been aborted during that time – that’s almost 18% of our population. Cambodia lost 20% of its population in the 1970’s during the brutal regime of Pol Pot, and the world calls that genocide. We lose nearly the same amount of Americans, and many people call that empowerment for women.
Shortly after I got saved 25 years ago, I read a book that explained the little fertilized zygote had everything it needed to become a person as long as s/he could remain in the womb to grow. My understanding for preborn people had been forever changed. A few years ago I read another book that changed my outlook on the prolife movement. One thing led to another, and I eventually went to a class in Milwaukee taught by a woman from Missionaries to the Preborn. Anne shared how abortions are performed at different stages for babies. Once I understood what actually happened during an abortion, I was horrified. I knew I could not do nothing. Action was necessary. And I knew that if my mom had ever been in a desperate situation without hope and with me as an unwanted child, I would’ve wanted someone to apply the golden rule for me!
But I was scared. I had all these charactures in my mind of what fanatical anti-abortion people looked like, and I did not want to be one of them. I wanted to just stay home and pray. But after several nudges, I finally went out to the sidewalks to pray. I was welcomed by others who also felt compelled to be out on the sidewalks praying. I felt the warmth of the Spirit through these strangers. Most of all, I felt so blessed to intercede for the souls connected to the abortion industry – the workers, manufacturers, suppliers, moms and babies. Excuses not to go to Madison to pray outside Planned Parenthood run rampant, but I never regret when I go to pray. I feel the Lord’s presence as well as the heaviness that comes with calculated evil that envelopes the abortion mill. I get jeers, people honking their horns in support and one lady got out of her car to give me a piece of her mind one afternoon. I was so thankful to share with her that a friend from church had a pregnant 14 year old niece whose baby was wanted by seven couples!
As we move away from the Christmas season and into a new year, would you ask the Lord what you can do to support the prolife movement? Your prayers accomplish so much. But perhaps there are other ways…my son and I knit baby hats for the Women’s Care Center in Madison, and they are so grateful to give these to women who come to them for ultrasounds. We pray over these small tokens of our time, trusting the Lord gets them onto the precious tiny heads He wants.
A few helpful resources to check out to become familiar with what is happening on these front lines:
- Rachel’s Vineyard provides weekend retreats to help men and women heal from the pain of abortion as they experience the Lord’s forgiveness
- And Then There Were None helps abortion workers leave the industry
- A Love for Life by Dennis DiMauro provides an excellent history of the church’s view on abortion
- Unplanned by Abby Johnson tells the story of how a former Planned Parenthood director left her lucrative career after her parents and strangers had been praying for her deliverance
- 40 Days for Life is a semi-annual international gathering of people praying and fasting outside abortion facilities that has seen nearly 8,500 babies saved, 44 abortion facilities close down and nearly 90 workers leave the industry by the grace of God and for His glory
Father God, thank You for loving life. Thank You for redeeming lives that have been hurt through abortion. Forgive us for when we are indifferent to the needs of others. Please show us how we can serve You by helping others in their time of need. Thank You for bringing Your Son into the world even when it was inconvenient for Mary and Joseph. You are very great and full of compassion. Make us compassionate like You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
In Joyful Surrender