A teenaged girl sat in front of me last Sunday at church. I had not noticed her before this week. I didn’t think much of it until I saw her in the bathroom after worship, and noticed she was nursing an electronic baby. The girl stood awkwardly in the corner, fumbling with the bottle, trying to be discreet. There was no place in the bathroom for a nursing mother to sit because our church is inside a Christian elementary school. Not a place that gives much thought to accommodations for a young mother.
I spoke to the girl, asked if the “baby” was part of a school project. She sheepishly answered, “Yes”, grateful that I recognized her situation. She mentioned that she gets a lot of odd looks. I could see the embarrassment in her demeanor; imagining what other people were thinking about her. Some thought she carried a real baby, which carries its own judgment at her age. Others just thought she was a little crazy, carrying around a doll, like it is a real baby.
I noticed the “baby” was dressed in blue, so I assumed it was a boy. When I spoke to the girl, I referred to it as him – a son. I asked her if she had “him” on a schedule. She answered she thought she had “it” figured out; that she could identify “its” different cries. She knew when “it” was hungry, needed changed, or just needed to be held a little while. The girl said the project was only for the weekend, and then “it” goes back to school on Monday. She seemed relieved in knowing this would be the only Sunday she would be huddled in the corner of a bathroom, seeking refuge with a screaming baby.
I imagine it would be daunting to consider her predicament long-term.
I knew instantly that the Lord had put this girl in our congregation on this particular Sunday. Our pastor spoke on the crisis of abortion in our country. He had asked for prayer the week before, as he knew this would not be an easy subject. I have to admit, I was nervous for him in speaking on “it”. I think I feared what others would think, how they would respond. Abortion has become a political issue, and one that brings a violent response on all sides. But our pastor did a great job steering the message away from all of this, back to the center of what matters. He gave the history of Roe vs. Wade, which I appreciated. He also had done extensive reading of Planned Parenthood’s annual report. He had a firm grasp of the realities of abortion, all the players involved, and the gruesome statistics. He stated there have been 55 million babies aborted in the past forty-two years. 55 million is a staggering number. I looked up the exact number: 55,072,015 abortions in America since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 . To give you some bearing, I looked up ALL U.S. casualties in ALL wars combined in our history, and the number of lives lost: 1,319,943 . That number represents only 2.4% of the total babies aborted, and 200 years LESS time. All the war-related deaths happened over a span of 240 years. So, an unconscionable 54,452,072 more babies have been killed than all U.S. casualties in all wars in history, in a record-breaking 42 two years since abortion became legal in this country. Please keep in mind these are the legal, reportable abortions!
Does this number grab you by the neck and choke the life-breath from you? I can hardly breathe. It is hard to even get my mind around these numbers. And to know each number represents a life lost. A life that never had a choice, or a chance. A life that never got to take his or her first breath, never got to see his or her mom and dad, or grasp a pinkie with his or her tiny fist. A baby who never had a lullaby sang to him or her, never experienced the nourishment of a mother’s milk, a warm bath, a soft blanket.
How can we live in a world that makes it legal for a young mother to routinely rid herself of her baby? That makes abortion easier than an electronic baby parenting class at school. At least the teenaged girl in front of me on Sunday cared for “it” for a weekend. We’ve somehow managed to make it a cultural norm for a mother to disassociate herself from the “it” she is carrying. We’ve made abortion readily accessible; she can get an abortion right in the same shopping center where she can buy groceries and office supplies. But the real travesty is we’ve made it so she can move from the clinic to the Kroger without missing a beat; without much thought for the “it” baby whose life was destroyed. If that isn’t enough, we’ve also made it not okay to talk to her about “it”, to tell her the truth, to offer an alternative – in fear of somehow offending her, or violating her “right to choose”.
Some choice. One she has to live with for the rest of her life.
I say that not to shame her, but to shame us. To shame everyone who lacks the courage to speak up, who is too busy shopping next door to pay attention to what is going on over there, who has somehow absolved themselves of the responsibility to act – to offer a loving response to a mother contemplating abortion.
There is a saying, “Satan is never too busy to rock the cradle of a sleeping saint”. Are you awake or asleep on the matter of abortion? I hope I’ve given you 55,000,000 reasons to think about it. I know, for myself, I had no idea. I am embarrassed to say that I frequently shop at the Kroger down the way from the Planned Parenthood on Bechtle Avenue, and never once have I considered what’s going on “over there”. Never once have I noticed a young mother in the throes of a life-ending decision.
My pastor issued a challenge to us on Sunday. It seems God is doing something amidst our ignorance, indifference, and apathy. He led our pastor to contact an organization called “Save the Storks” (www.savethestorks.com). This organization has mobilized a response to abortion. They call it “love – compassion – action”. They build and release start-of-the-art buses into communities where there is an abortion clinic. These buses are fully loaded with ultrasound equipment and staffed by clinicians. Their model works through the local pregnancy resource center to offer mothers an alternative to abortion. They park the bus outside an abortion clinic, and approach the mother entering. They offer free ultrasounds to women considering an abortion, which they can perform right in the bus. And they also share the Gospel, pray with the mother, and offer ongoing support to consider other options, including adoption. The organization reports 3 out of 5 women who enter the bus keep their baby. That is a number to take to heart. Watch this short video about this ministry work: Save the Storks Bus Tour .
Save the Storks is coming to OUR town THIS weekend. They are driving a fully equipped bus to our little church this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Our congregation will have the opportunity to tour the bus, and talk to the STS staff members. Then, our church is going with STS over to the Bechtle Avenue shopping center in front of Beacon of Hope (just steps down from Planned Parenthood) from 1:00-3:00 p.m. this Sunday. We are asking anyone and everyone to come out during this time to see the bus, talk to STS staff, and consider how we, as Christians, might respond to abortion in our community. The estimated cost to bring a bus here – that would be owned and operated locally – is $125,000. If we have 12,500 people give just $10 each, or 6,250 people give $20 each, or 3,125 people give $40 each….we can bring a bus to Springfield.
Event details for THIS Sunday April 26th:
Bus at New Day Christian Fellowship 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., address: 2177 Emmanuel Way, Springfield, OH 45502
Bus in front of Beacon of Hope 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., address: 1127 North Bechtle Avenue, Springfield, OH 45504
There is a Michael W. Smith concert in Springfield this Sunday afternoon. Thousands of Christians will flock there to worship God, and celebrate the salvation we have in Christ Jesus. I challenge every one attending to stop on Bechtle Avenue first. It is on your way.
Could you take the time to consider how you might be a part of our effort to bring a loving response to abortion to our community? It is time for us to “wake up” to the reality of millions of babies lost, and the mothers who are routinely making the trek to unburden her “it”.
Could today be the day when you see her, huddled in her corner of life, contemplating disaster?
Could today be the day when you stop to talk to her – to notice her – and to offer her a loving alternative to her seemingly-short-lived-problem-that-has-long-reaching-consquences? Would you help her face and consider the longer-term possibilities for her predicament? Help her see “it” as he or she created inside of her by our Creator God with a life purpose – that He has led her life to this purpose, this moment, this ministry of grace and hope.
You can be a part of this ministry – with as little as $10. We ask only that you spend a few minutes of your time to see what God might be doing here, possibly on your way to worship THIS SAME GOD we love and serve.
Pastor Derek has been quoting Proverbs 31 in connection with this, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). I looked it up this morning. This proverb was written by King Lemuel, it says, “an oracle his mother taught him”. Of course, she did. As the saying goes, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. It’s time to rock the boat on abortion, reclaim a mother’s significance in this destitute world.
Stop at Beacon of Hope on Sunday, be part of the HOPE we hope to bring to the mothers in our community, and their unborn babies.
PLEASE SHARE THIS POST with anyone and everyone locally – we would like a CROWD on Sunday!!
PS. If you are not local, but interested in giving to this cause, please contact me through the blog , or Facebook . We are putting together a way to donate online, and we welcome your support – to the glory of God!