A few weeks ago I attended a baby shower. The church was decorated adorably (pink, purple and zebra print) to celebrate the impending arrival of a little baby girl. Twenty women arrived with yummy treats to share. The gift table was full to overflowing and we played the traditional baby shower games. It was a fun afternoon. But, the thing that made it special to me was the fact that, for most of the women in attendance, the mom-to be was a complete stranger.
My friend, Karen, had created an afternoon full of love and celebration for someone that we hardly knew. She invited and women came! They came to love on an unwed mama, down on her luck, who is set to deliver a sweet babe in a few weeks. I can’t think of a better way to illustrate Christ’s love. This mama to be was showered with not just practical gifts but with love, acceptance and grace.
On my way home from the shower, I tearfully recalled when a life was growing inside of me and I did not experience that same love, acceptance or grace. I was sixteen and alone. No one to throw a baby shower for the little boy in my tummy and not many who supported the decision I made when I walked out of the abortion clinic with my pregnancy still intact.
In this election season, the words “pro-life” get thrown around a lot and what people seem to really mean when they say it is that they are “anti-abortion”. Friends, there is a major difference between being pro-life and being anti-abortion. The day I sat in a clinic, wrestling with the reproductive options presented, I had walked right past people holding picket signs. Their passion and vigor went basically unnoticed by a girl whose mind was already full of swirling thoughts. Their position did not influence my decision in the slightest. And, when I walked out, not a single one of them offered to pray with me or ask me if I was ok. Little did they know they were missing out on an opportunity to pour love and acceptance into a girl who had made a decision to give her child life but was still wondering if it was the right one.
But, my salvation story is rooted in the love and acceptance of two sweet women I met when that same baby was a toddler, who threw open their hearts and their church to love on teen moms. Being pro-life is so much more than trying to convince people that abortion is wrong. A true pro-life stance requires much more than ideology. Coming alongside a mom who is struggling to figure out how she is going to raise a baby alone is being pro-life. Pro-life is loving on the mom who is heartbroken with the regret of a past abortion. Supporting the rights of the disabled is pro-life. Becoming a foster parent is pro-life. Pro-life is not a political position. It is a value, exemplified in the actions of a person committed to walking alongside the hurting and the broken and honoring all life.
The question then becomes…..Are you truly pro-life?