I’m not really one to publicly post my political views online, especially when it comes to abortion. I think those conversations are really important, and I also think that really important conversations should happen face-to-face, rather than in the comments section of a Facebook post. I think the abortion issue, and political issues in general, can be so divisive, and I want nothing more to communicate that I understand the other side, but I just don’t agree. And I want to leave as friends who agree to disagree. My political choices don’t completely define me, nor do they determine who I love and choose to befriend. Yours don’t define you either.
Today I enter the discussion about abortion, but not to voice my opinion. I believe that all life is sacred and valuable, even the lives of embryos, and I also understand and grieve with the young single mama who literally cannot afford another baby and those in similar situations who seek out abortion. What I want to talk about is this: what I think it means to REALLY be pro-life.
The thing that gets me all riled up the most about this issue is pro-lifers who want to save the lives of babies, but don’t really want to do anything after that baby is born. Picketing Planned Parenthood helps nobody. Protesting doesn’t actually DO anything. Shaming that girl walking into Planned Parenthood? There’s the problem right there. What that girl doesn’t need is for you to yell at her or shame her out of her choice. Maybe what she needed was some help before she got to this place. We, the church, have failed her, and that’s on us.
If abortion is eradicated, there will be over 1 million new lives entering the world in the United States per year. And this is my question for you: what are you going to do about it? And I don’t just mean pray. Gasp. Ok, I know that as a Christian, prayer is our absolute greatest weapon and tool, and yes, absolutely be praying for all the things. But the Bible specifically commands us to care for the orphan and the vulnerable. It is not a suggestion, friends. This means do something. Anything! We don’t all have to do the same thing, but we are all certainly capable of doing something.
Hear me, friends – if abortion is eradicated, it will not only cost those seeking them, it will cost us too. If those babies are born into this world, just as pro-lifers are hoping and praying they do, then the Church will need to help shoulder the burden of those that don’t have a support system or finances to care for one more mouth to feed. It will cost us. And we should pay up, happily, without complaint and without deferring to the government. If we believe these lives matter, we should care about the quality of their lives, and not just that they simply come into existence. And if we believe Jesus is who he says he is, then he is entitled to the whole of our lives, without any limits whatsoever. So this will cost us. It will cost us our lives – our time, resources, comfort, energy, and sometimes sanity. It will cost us our fun family trips, free time, and guest rooms.
I don’t say these things to guilt-trip anyone, although I do hope it will bring conviction where it is needed. But mostly, I wrote the things above so I can write the things below – the ways you can help, even when you feel like you don’t have much to give.
If you’re thinking about adding another child to your home, perhaps consider foster care or adoption. This might mean taking in a hard, hurting kid and praying your way through it, but it will be worth it. If you are already maxed out in the kid department, consider babysitting for a foster family that you know. This might mean less trips with your kids to the zoo and more staying home with an extra kiddo, but the blessing to that family will be immeasurable. If you don’t know any foster families or for some reason can’t babysit, consider donating clothes to a foster care closet. This might mean that you give clothes away instead of selling them, but I promise you those clothes will go to good use. Often new placements come with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing, and foster families have to scramble to get clothes for their new kiddo. You can make meals, have food delivered, and give gift cards. You can donate furniture and supplies.
Personally, our village has risen up and helped us in so many ways. Our foster care journey has not been easy, but our people have shouldered our burden so well. Our small group meets at our house because one, we have so many kids, and two, because it’s easier for us and our kids to not have to get used to a new place. Several friends have gotten certified to babysit for us. We’ve had people order diapers and supplies off Amazon and send them to our home. People have fed us constantly – they bring meals and order food to be delivered to us and give us gift cards to restaurants. We’ve had people give us money to put towards foster kids and their needs. I even had one friend in another state ship me clothes and backpacks before school started. I get emails and messages from friends who pray for each of our foster babes by name. Sometimes I get little gifts that are just for me, like a Starbucks gift card, and these little acts of kindness go such a long way to restore my soul on hard days.
Locally, here are some practical ways to help. Get involved with Family Beacon and mentor a mama and take care of her kids while she gets back on her feet. Get your church involved with The Second Story and help in the process of finding a home for a child who is waiting to be adopted. Contact Embrace and ask for ways to help their ministry. Become a licensed foster family and take in hurting kiddos whose parents have lost the right to parent them. Adopt a baby whose mama has chosen life, but can’t afford to raise her child. Volunteer at after school programs in high risk areas, at a crisis pregnancy center, or at an organization that supports teen moms, like Alley’s House. Family Compass has two home mentoring programs and a community education program that they need volunteers for. Become a CASA and advocate for foster kids alongside their CPS caseworker and attorney. Mentor a child through Big Brother, Big Sister. Give that pregnant mama without a car a ride to her doctor’s appointment. Buy groceries or babysit for a single parent who is barely making ends meet.
Does sex slavery make your blood boil? Do something. Feel passionately about the refugee crisis? Help them. The point is this – get moving, friends. These problems will not solve themselves, and the Church should be at the forefront of any issue that affects human life. Jesus was, and so should we.
Friends, Pro-lifers, Church – rise up. This is it. The world is watching. This is when we put our money where our mouth is, so to speak. This is when the world sees if we really believe what we say we believe. This is the time to back up all that Jesus talk and make love a verb.
For other ways to help, check out my post on how to support foster families.
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