As I follow the recent stories of horrific evil perpetrated against innocent civilians at a music festival in Israel, my heart breaks. I am appalled. Enraged. Grief-stricken.
When human beings behave like monsters, the imagination staggers, searching for an answer.
How can people be so cruel? So twisted in their lust for blood and raw power? So utterly devoid of mercy?
There is something particularly reprehensible about treating the vulnerable with utter disregard for their innate value and dignity.
The brutalization of young women. Of the fragile elderly. Of young children, even babies.
Clearly the perpetrators’ consciences are seared beyond recognition. Surely their hearts sit cold and hard as stone in their chests.
The watching world knows that the torture and death of innocent people is deeply, distressingly wrong. No matter our worldview, we feel it in our gut.
We define the very idea of inhumanity based on knowing humanity has value and deserves protection.
Christians understand this value to be intrinsic to humans because it is derived from God, who created us in His image.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.’ God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them (Gen. 1:26-27).”
We are, in some mysterious way, God’s reflection and His representatives on the earth. We are regents over the rest of creation, stewarding it on His behalf.
At the end of the day, it is our divinely derived value which makes our stomachs lurch at the grisly, cruel deaths we have heard about on the news lately.
In considering these events, I’m reminded there’s another, quieter, invisible, ongoing war being fought in the world today.
It’s the battle to rescue and protect the most vulnerable human beings of all—preborn people.
Let me be careful and clear about any comparison between a premeditated, brutal attack by bloodthirsty terrorists with the actions of abortion providers or advocates.
It’s not people or motives where a parallel can be made, but rather, in the outcome of their actions.
The single common denominator between what happened in Gaza and what happens in abortion is that, in each case, innocent people are killed.
With abortion, where the bloody bodies are easily disposed of, where the screams can’t be heard, where euphemisms airbrush the brutal truth, the innocent are still dead.
The most vulnerable among us are extinguished.
And that’s not okay.
Preborn human beings are just as valuable as the rest of us. They are created in the image of God, precious in His sight—just as each one of us has been since we were conceived.
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Let’s also keep in mind that, with abortion, there’s another kind of victim besides the unborn child.
There’s the woman carrying that baby.
Abortion has killed or injured too many pregnant women. Setting the physical risks aside, psychological risks must be considered as well.
This is where I am so thankful for the good work of pregnancy help centers.
Some folks would condemn a woman who considers, or chooses, abortion as vehemently as they would stand against those who provide, and/or advocate for, abortion.
Yet we understand the woman in the valley of decision stands in a bewildering, difficult no-man’s land.
Society shouts at her, “Abortion is a woman’s right!”
Religious folks may want to shame her for becoming pregnant. (Tragically, shame has killed many babies.)
The voices of the baby’s father or her family or friends often add confusion to the mix.
To a young woman steeped in a culture where sex is expected as part of even a casual relationship, clever sayings like, “If you want to exercise bodily autonomy, don’t have sex” are unhelpful.
Not to mention she may be pregnant because she suffered sexual assault.
Amid the din, we offer a quiet place for the woman in a pregnancy decision. A place to take refuge from shame. To take hold of hope.
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Surrounded by people who care about her, offering resources and support (but not judgment), people who don’t profit from her decision, she can breathe. She can think.
She can choose life for her child of her own volition.
And once she breaks through into hope for her future, neither she nor her child are victims any longer.
They are both triumphant survivors.
I put it this way in Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion:
“We want to offer support to the woman in the valley of decision so she doesn’t have to damage her soul and body to wiggle out of a tight spot. Decisions made out of desperation have a way of complicating things further. The best decisions are made from hope, not despair.”
Let’s keep up the good work of rescuing preborn people and changing the lives of women and men facing unplanned pregnancies.
Let’s continue to hold out hope without shame and blame.
And let’s remember, daily, that this work matters because human beings matter to God.