Abortion and the God of Second Chances
by Lisa Robertson
Sometimes, being a follower of Jesus puts us at a crossroads where we are forced to make a decision. I’m not talking about deciding between right and wrong but about choosing between two behaviors that are both right but seem to contradict one another.
An example of what I mean is the social media response to the recent decision by the New York legislative body to allow abortion right up to the time of birth.
Most Christians on Facebook and Twitter seemed to be (understandably so) incensed that the lives of unborn babies were treated with such callous disregard. I get it. It made me mad too.
My inner voice tells me that I should be vocal about condemning this horrible legislation. And I should speak out – all of us should. Abortion is a national tragedy. Its damage goes far beyond the babies being slaughtered (as if that weren’t bad enough). Abortion teaches our children that human life is not precious. For those of us who believe that all people are created in the image of God, abortion is a reminder that bad things happen when a society abandons the idea that honoring God and pursing him are worth it.
But I suspect that most of the people reading this blog agree with me on this.
So then there is the other side of me – the other little voice in my head that asks “What about the woman? What about her pain? What about her guilt and shame?”
I ask these questions because, unfortunately, I know about abortion. I had one. Long before I gave my life to Christ, long before I knew about the value we all possess as image-bearers of God, abortion seemed to me to be an easy solution to a complicated problem.
I was wrong! It was not a solution, and it certainly wasn’t easy.
I know all about the shame and guilt that sweep over most women after they’ve made the decision to abort their babies. And even though I know that God has separated me from that guilt as far as the east is from the west, I will bear those emotional scars for the rest of my life.
The promises that abortion make are lies, and I, along with millions of other unsuspecting women, have paid the price. So have the sixty million or so babies whose lives were taken from them before they could draw their first breath.
Yes! I hate abortion. I hate it so much that I will use whatever platform God has given me to condemn it and to work to change our laws to prohibit it.
But more than that, I want women who are considering it to know that it is no solution. Aborting your child will not make your life better; it will, in fact, diminish you as a person. You will never be the same.
And to the women who have had abortions, I want to use my voice to let them know that there is a God who loves them and deeply desires to pick them up, wash away the guilt they carry for aborting their child, and hold them close to his heart. He is a God who died for them, and that his death paid the debt they owe for the wrong they’ve done. I want them to know that their Heavenly Father already knew about their abortion when his son was suffering for .them
I want them to know that Jesus was also raised from the dead. And because his resurrection goes against everything we know about the physical world we live in (it’s not something that happens every day), we can trust God that he can wash away all of the slime and moral filth that has been sticking to our souls for years. He can even forgive me for aborting my baby.
So you see, I want to tell the truth about the evil of abortion. But I also want to dispense the grace and mercy of God – to pour it out all over women who are unexpectedly pregnant and don’t want to be. I want women who have had abortions to know the story of Jesus and his grace.
They say there are two sides to every story, and that is certainly true here. I just want to make sure that I’m telling both sides. In the case of abortion, telling one without the others leaves women still burdened by shame and guilt. And God has not called me to wrap the chains of guilt around other women – he has called me to proclaim freedom from bondage and guilt.