I decided right after Jacob was born that I was going to find a way to help end abortion in the United States. I have always been a justice fighter, and looking at his beautiful face every day as a first time mom made me want to save ALL THE BABIES.
Research became my part time job. I wanted to dig up all the information I could find about abortion: how to fight it, how to speak out about it, Scripture to use to convince people it’s wrong, ways to convince a mom to change her mind and save her baby’s life, ways to connect moms to pregnancy centers. I even looked for opportunities to help with crisis pregnancy center hotlines so I could talk girls out of it.
After a couple weeks of research, my husband and I sat down with a pastor friend of ours for lunch, and I passionately explained my new life goal to end abortion. He said some of the most grace-filled, life-altering words I’ve ever heard. I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s true. I’ve been thinking about this for years. What he said at lunch that day over hamburgers has helped me focus my life in a really powerful way.
I don’t remember his exact words, and I’m not going to pretend like I do. But basically what he said was that our calling as believers in Jesus isn’t to end abortion. It’s a calling to share the love of Jesus.
I believe the Church is called to fight for justice. 100%. We should be the front runners in rising up. But what changed that day was my definition of what it looks like to rise up.
It means loving the least of these. Extravagantly.
That’s not popular.
It means positioning ourselves in the lives of the people around us in such a way that they are not drawn to (or repelled by) us and our agenda, but drawn to Him.
That’s not easy.
I love justice fighters. Just Courage is one of my favorite books. Ever. It’s all about fighting injustice. It’s about living a courageous life like Jesus who fought for the least of these…and loved them SO WELL. He got His hands dirty. Not appealing to government, but drawing in the dirt to show someone they mattered.
He went out of His way….WAY out of His way…to tell a woman who was on her fifth husband that she was loved.
He didn’t use His voice and His life to speak out against laws.
He used His voice and His life to love the lawless.
So that day over burgers, I changed the focus of my life. I wanted to live in a way that made me available to the least of these. It has been quite the process. One of the biggest things that has kept me from loving people like Jesus is a judgmental heart.
I had to repent of that.
I catch myself still doing that. Often. I ask the Lord to change my heart when I catch it. He does.
I could not even read the posts about the recent law passed in NY. I can’t handle the thought of what was just legalized...and celebrated.
I will let that hatred of injustice rise up in me. It’s not a bad thing. But I will let the tears inform my prayers, and then energize me to keep loving the ones God puts in front of me.
My husband is a teacher and a coach. Our goal is to love students well enough that they know they could come to us if they need anything. If something great happens - we celebrate with them. If something sad happens, we cry with them. If they need a place to stay, they’re welcome here. If they were to get pregnant, I want to believe they’d come to us. And we would love them like Jesus. If you’re not sure where to start loving people outside your home…try the local public school. There’s a lot of need there.
As I’m writing this, our youngest son Kyle is watching kids make cakes on the food channel. They’re in a competition. I’m not sure what they get if they are the champion, but the girl who just won said “Other than being born, this is the best moment in my entire life.”
Pretty cute, and pretty powerful. Life is a gift. I want to live in a world where we appreciate it. But the best way I know to make a change is to follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. He loved so well. All the way to the place where He sacrificed everything so we could stop being judgmental and start loving like He did.