September 10, 2015
My husband John and I have always been pro-life, but we haven't always known how to engage the issue. We have felt helpless because sadly the injustice of abortion is legal. But the recently released videos exposing what Planned Parenthood does behind closed doors have been a game changer for us. They took our hearts to a new level of outrage and lament. Seeing what goes on inside an abortion clinic has been horrifying. Watching a doctor callously explain how she can manipulate an abortion to obtain intact organs from which to profit made us nauseas. Seeing the tiny limbs of an aborted baby and hearing the doctor exclaim "it's a boy!" wrecked me as I thought of my own two sons and the unspeakable joy and potential their lives bring. We asked ourselves, "How should we respond? We can't be silent. To be silent is to be complicit and that's not an option."
We spoke to pastor Matt Woodley and told him how our hearts were breaking anew over this issue, and that we would be willing to host a prayer night to ask the Lord for clarity in how to respond. In the wake of that prayer night, John and I have stepped into a season of co-leading the Sanctity of Life ministry at Church of the Resurrection, and we are honored to hold that role.
Several words have settled on our hearts as we consider what leading this ministry might look like: Strength. Prayerful. Respectful. Healing. Hope.
We strongly believe that life is a gift from God and that it should always be defended and celebrated. We believe in the preeminence and power of prayer, and that the fight for life is a spiritual battle that must be engaged with spiritual weapons. We want to engage the evil of abortion in a way that respectfully communicates God's love for everyone involved. We want the strong convictions we bring to conversations about this issue and the quiet, prayerful presence we have outside an abortion clinic to reflect God's love for all of His children. We want the manner in which we engage this issue to be worthy of the Gospel (Phil. 1:27), simultaneously uncompromising and compassionate. Lastly, we believe in the healing made available through the cross of Christ. We believe in the sufficiency of Jesus' blood to cover any sin, no matter how grave, and to redeem even our worst choices. We long to see people involved in the abortion industry meet Jesus and be healed by His love, and for women and men who have chosen abortion to know His forgiveness and healing offered freely through the cross.
Proverbs 24:11-12 "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Behold, we did not know this,' does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"
January 26, 2015
I have sometimes imagined myself living during a great human rights struggle, and wondered what I would do. If I were an American in 1850, would I perceive slavery for the evil it was and fight the norms and institutions of my day to end it? If I were a German in 1943, would I risk my reputation and livelihood to challenge the system that sent my neighbors to die in extermination camps?
A few weeks ago, I decided to attend a meeting at Rez on pro-life issues and got a wake-up call: I am living during a great human rights struggle right now.
Honestly, I'd fallen asleep to the abortion crisis. The issue seemed too big and too complicated. I didn't know enough to do anything. It was offensive to oppose abortion rights. It was just one injustice among many.
But as I listened to law professor and Rez member Morse Tan teach at the meeting, I was deeply struck by three realities:
First, if I really believe that a baby before birth is the same person after birth, then the true situation is that thousands of people in the United States are killed through abortion each day.
Second, that the right to an abortion is actually a unique injustice. The norms and institutions of our society thankfully are united against many injustices such as human trafficking; sadly, they are divided on the issue of abortion rights.
Third, because our society doesn't recognize the truth about this injustice—at the cost of many lives—the need is great to speak out to challenge the status quo and to champion the lives of the not-yet-born.
Last Sunday, January 18, about 80 of us from Rez were privileged to raise our voices with over 4,000 others to do a small part in this effort at the 2015 March for Life Chicago. Top 40 tunes blared, yellow "LIFE" balloons were everywhere and counter-demonstrators lined the sidewalk across from Federal Plaza where we gathered. We walked the city streets, held signs, prayed and sang, but just as important as the "what" of the march is the "why." We gathered to tell the truth about abortion, to advocate for, love and celebrate the lives of babies not-yet-born. And we gathered to love and pray for the mothers and fathers whose lives are marked by abortion and, ultimately, to seek God's transforming work in their lives, in our government and in our communities to heal the darkness and destruction that abortion has caused.