It’s easy to talk about what we are against, but what are we doing to stand up for what and who it is we say we believe? Are we caring for the orphan and the widow? The outcast and the stranger? The poor and disenfranchised? The unborn child in a mother’s womb? Or, for that matter, the woman who feels one option is her only option?
Can I share a little story?
There was a woman in her late 40s who gave birth to a child. This child was the youngest of ten kids, and the only one placed for adoption. When this woman found out she was pregnant, she told the man. He threatened her, telling her she had to either get an abortion or put the child up for adoption. If not, this man who happened to work in law enforcement said he’d put her or one of her older adult kids in jail (Abuse of power, much?) Oh, and would you believe she met this “gentleman” at church?!
With that one statement, he took her child away. With that one statement, he took her desire to live away. With that one statement, he took her voice away. Oh, and not long after losing her child, she actually lost her ability to speak. Her voice was completely gone, literally and figuratively.
Although not her choice, this woman did put the baby up for adoption. On the child’s first Sunday in her new home, she was taken to church. One of the first people to greet the child and family was a spinster church lady. The first words out of this woman’s mouth, spoken over this child, was, “Well, you know, if her mom was a prostitute, she’s going to grow up to do the same?” (Sometimes, it’s best not to say anything at all.)
Thankfully, those words didn’t hold power over that little baby. And that wasn’t the end of either one of their stories—the baby or the biological mother’s. Even still, neither was a narrative that was neat or tied up with a bow. In fact, chapters of that child’s story are still being written to this very day as the truth of her life’s beginning becomes known.
How do I know? Because that child was me.
Why am I sharing this? Because actions really do speak louder than words. To change what’s taking place in our country requires more than a simple post on social media. (Yes, I’m looking in the mirror as I type those words.) We have to step outside of our comfort zones, engage in discussion, get to know people—really know them—and put our words and beliefs into action. Taking seriously the responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to share His love with all.
Am I pro-life? Most definitely, from the cradle to the grave! Am I personally grateful to have been given the gift of life? Absolutely! But the more I discover the truth of my biological mother’s life and the details surrounding my conception, birth, and adoption, along with other women who’ve shared their stories with me, the more I realize those of us who call ourselves Christ-followers have so much work left to do….starting with our own hearts, our own perceptions, and our responses to the lost and the least.
It’s not enough to speak out against abortion…..it simply isn’t. What will we do to embody and actualize all that we say we believe about the dignity of human life, from the cradle to the grave?
Actions really do speak louder than words. What will each of us do today, and in the days to come, to tangibly and demonstratively share the love of Jesus to all with whom we come in contact?