“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
Allow me to restate the spirit of these verses:
“If I stand against abortion, hold picket signs, and give speeches and money, but have not love, I’ve missed the point.”
Today marks the 40-something year anniversary of the famous court case Roe v. Wade. It’s the day that abortion was deemed constitutional because a woman should have the right to terminate her own pregnancy.
Since that Supreme Court decision, it is estimated that 50 million babies have been aborted, averaging about 3,000 a day. This is a serious injustice we are witnessing in our world today, and I would be first in line to declare that abortions are nothing more than legalized murder, and that no person has the right to take another person’s life.
However, that is not my focus here. My goal is to get us, as individuals who comprise the Church, to move past the declaration of a problem and become part of the solution.
Recently, I heard a podcast from Revive Our Hearts where a woman, Jennifer Smith, shared her story of being raised in church, turning to alcohol and promiscuity, being date raped and impregnated, having an abortion, and how Jesus has set her free (listen for yourself: “Finding True Life after Abortion, with Jennifer Smith”). Something Jennifer said inspired me to look at abortion from another angle:
“I remember crying in my car, thinking, If somebody would just take me out of this set of circumstances, sit with me in a house and just care for me, that would be the only way that I could do this. If one person would just grab me, take me away, and live this out with me step by step, then I could do it. But I would have to have a really long-term commitment from that person. That thought did enter my mind, but I didn’t find that person.“
Some women have very challenging life circumstances and cannot see any other way out but to have an abortion, so I started asking questions. What if instead of carrying signs of gruesome pictures and poignant truth, we Christians camped outside of Planned Parenthood, instead offering our help to the women in practical ways? What if we became that person Jennifer talked about, that would just “grab [these women], take [them] away, and live this [pregnancy] our with [them] step by step”? What if we gave our money, time, or a space in our homes and ourhearts?
The Bible says, in James 2:15-16,
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.“
And in 1 John 3:16-18,
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
So, today, as we mourn the lives of the many people that have not been given the chance of life, and have not been able to carry out the plans and purposes God had for them, let us also consider the deep love of Jesus towards us, and be willing to lay down our lives as God opens doors for us to be a solution to a desperate problem. We can’t all help everyone, but we all can sure help someone.
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away...And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13: 8, 13