A guest post by my sister, Lydia Mead.
Most people I know don’t care about murdered children.
They’re well educated. They know what a human looks like from single cell to embryo to foetus. They know what abortion does. They’re mostly Christian, so they’re fairly well versed on what Jesus is like, what he did on earth, and what he wants us to do. Generally, they get that we’re to love God, and love other people – the fulfilment of the law. They usually draw the line at getting their hands dirty. I talk with them about this.
“Yeah. I know it’s a problem – but my heart’s not in it. I just can’t make myself feel concerned enough to help”. Or: ‘I know – but it’s just not my battle’. Though they usually verbally express this to me, sometimes they say everything by saying nothing at all.
The other day, sitting around a coffee table with our cappuccinos and cupcakes, I was asked what I’d been doing before our child arrived. There was a hushed silence and the conversation moved quickly on to other topics when I explained how I’d worked in a crisis pregnancy centre, receiving calls from abortion seeking women and girls. When you mention the A-word amongst your good Christian friends or church folk, you’ve overstepped: there isn’t any place for a verbal exchange on the brutal reality of abortion amongst polite, Christian people. The gut feeling you get from your church is – if you’re going to go out and do something awkward and uncomfortable, then it should be evangelism. We’ll pray for you to go and do that in India or an African country; we’ll even send you some money now and then. But abortion’s too horrible to entertain as a thought, let alone to discuss or do anything about. Not only that, but working to end abortion is going beyond what Christians need to do.
To the friend who exclaimed, in the middle of my fiery exhortation: ‘Gosh, you’re really passionate about this,” followed by: “I just can’t really feel it in my heart to do anything about it” – I’d say, you’re not alone.
I don’t want to do anything about abortion either. Abortion is something I hate thinking about. I hate the idea of thrusting the issue into the faces of decent, well-meaning folk out there. I’d honestly much rather read a novel, play the piano or go have a coffee with friends and chat about nothing. But there’s a clear reason that polite, decent Christians don’t want to think, discuss or do anything about child murder: it’s a catastrophically large issue with our entire society complicit; even our governmental institutions have upheld and entrenched this ‘right’. Which is why we all draw a blank when it comes to abortion: it’s too hard to actively fight against a society that accepts and upholds the practice.
Believe it or not, those people out there who are raising the subject in their churches and with their friends, praying outside abortion clinics, volunteering for pregnancy counselling helplines, attending marches, running pro-life groups, writing articles, working on a local and national level for legislative change – they don’t want to be doing what they’re doing. They are always struggling with themselves to keep on, because the prevailing desire – the easy option, is to do nothing. It’s always hard for them to keep fighting abortion. They’d really rather go to the pub and have a beer with the mates and forget about it all.
The soldiers who answered the call to enlist in the two world wars at the start of last century had a noble task; yet I would posit that those people who continue to fight on behalf of the unborn have a still more noble task. The brave Allied soldiers in WWI and WWII were fighting for their countries, their families and their own lives, and those that survived received accolades, memorials, respect and praise. Those fighting for the lives of children yet to be born, and in memory of those that have died, fight for no benefit for themselves or their families and their hostile society treats them with anger and scorn.
The only reward for people who’re fighting against the greatest mass-murder of all history is the knowledge that there are people whose lives have been saved, and hearts changed, through their work. One day in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be judged on how much we loved God, and how much we loved his people. Jesus reminds us (and I paraphrase): ‘When you saved the lives of the unborn and became a voice for the helpless you did it for Me’. God counts our actions towards others as though we were doing the same for him in those situations. So, yeah, it’s hard. It’s not a fun topic. It’s not much fun being out in the cold, praying about abortion. To you pre-born advocates out there – keep working and fighting, and remember that God will give you more love and courage as you persevere.
And to everyone else: don’t wait until you feel ‘called to the ministry’ of fighting for the pre-born, or to ‘feel in your heart’ that you care about abortion. That day won’t come if you’re waiting for it. Get out there and get involved – the passion will come to you on the job.