“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” (Romans 12:15-16, ESV)
For the past two years I’ve watched Christians debate the validity of statistics regarding Covid-19 (to mask or not/vaccinate or not/social distancing, etc.) I watched friends unfriend each other over their difference in beliefs in this heated topic and now over the past couple of weeks I’ve watched it happen again. Different topic but same approach – Christians’ adamant on their beliefs and using “statistics” to support their behavior.
In case you have been living on a remote island and are out of the loop – the topic I’m referring to is abortion.
Some will argue statistics that abortion as the result of rape and incest only applies to one percent of the cases, that statistics don’t lie. However, over the years I’ve sat with thousands of women and heard horrendous stories of sexual abuse, rape, incest. I can tell that in my little corner of the world – the one’s that had an abortion for those reasons account for much more than one percent. One main reason the statistics aren’t accurate is simple that most never reported their abuse. It’s only twenty to thirty years later when they felt safe that they unloaded the burdened they carried. Some were driven to abortion clinics by their abuser – leaving them no opportunity to speak up freely. Some had their lives threatened if they refused to get the abortion.
The month of July is annually recognized as Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, a month dedicated to bringing awareness of the support necessary when someone endures the loss of a child. This month I felt it appropriate to acknowledge a group of grieving parents that often gets overlooked. The mothers who had an abortion (by choice or forced).
Instead of compassion they get ugly things said about them. Now before you start writing a heated response to my blog this month, please take the time to finish reading in its’ entirety.
I do not support abortions – I am not ashamed to say that I stand with the Word of God.
But at the same time, I know that the Jesus I’ve served most of my life is one of hope, love, compassion, and redemption. Part of my assignment is to share Jesus with a lost world.
I’ve wept with many women who grieve the babies they aborted. The anniversaries of their abortions are days filled with tremendous grief and trauma. Even decades later they still carry the overwhelming burden and the shame with them; and because of how that child’s life ended they do it alone.
This is where I get to share Jesus with them. I don’t need to sit there and attack these women. They do that to themselves enough. They’ve heard sounds and seen images that they struggle to get out of their heads. They grieve over their babies just as intensely as I grieve over mine. While the situations are different the pain in a mother’s heart is the same. And this month I acknowledge those women who carry that pain silently day after day, year after year.
I see you, but more importantly Jesus sees you and you can come to Him just as you are – broken, abused and hurting.
John tells us that people will “know us by our love for others”. If I’m always posting hurtful remarks about people who have had abortions –all they’ll know is what I hate – – instead of what I love (or more importantly who I love). If we want the world to “know us by our love” – there is a better way to stand up for truth than sharing horrific photos and inaccurate statistics on social media.
My pastor encouraged us to “put our money where our mouth is” as our church took up an offering to support three local pregnancy centers. Places that offer support to women in need.
If you’re reading this blog, I want to encourage you with the same. How are you showing your love for others? If you’re pro-life – how are you honoring the life around you? Are you making yourself approachable to someone whose hurting?
“Our grief is as individual as our lives.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
My Hope Endures,
Founder/Director, Ephraim Ministries