Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
From 40 Days For Life: DAY 22: "My baby died there"
Dear Deacon John,
This past Sunday, we shared a story about a young woman who spoke to 40 Days for Life volunteers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and told them, “Thanks to you, my son’s alive.”
Some stop to say thank you because they chose life. Others also stop to talk ... even though their abortion appointments had a different outcome.
I have said many times that the vigil in front of an abortion center is a sign of mercy to the mothers who’ve just had abortions ... and I believe it. It can be a sign of mercy to the fathers as well – even years later.
Kathy, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in Columbia, was nearing the end of her prayer time on an unusually cold afternoon. A young man walked up to her and said, “Thank you for being here.”
He then blurted out, “My baby died there.”
With a sorrowful expression, he told his story. Seven years ago, he begged his girlfriend not to abort their child. Despite the urgency of his pleadings, she refused to listen.
Kathy described how women were processed for their abortion appointments. They were lined up on the sidewalk while security guards checked them in and took their phones. Perhaps his girlfriend may have had second thoughts, but was pressured to continue.
He said he’d come to know Jesus just before his girlfriend found out she was pregnant. Kathy soon learned that the clean-cut, nicely dressed, well-mannered young man she was speaking to had once been a drug dealer. But Jesus had come to his rescue …“not once,” Kathy said, “but twice.”
The second time was when his grief over the loss of his child became unbearable.
This man is now married and looks forward to being a dad. “I gently reminded him that he is a dad; and that his child is in heaven and that with God's grace, he would meet him some day,” she said. “I told him that his baby knew he wanted him-- that he tried to save him and that his baby loved him. He left with something to think about.”
Still, Kathy said, the loss he suffered will be with him the rest of his life … just as the loss will remain with everyone who had been to this Planned Parenthood facility for an abortion.
“I think often of the 800 babies lost each year for so many years and I think of the 800 moms and dads each year who are hurting,” Kathy said. “And I think how sometimes God brings them to the sidewalk looking for healing and comfort and how all of us are there for them – with love and never judgment. I thank God that I was there that day and that the sidewalk wasn’t empty. God truly works in mysterious ways.”
This Planned Parenthood office no longer does abortions. But it still refers women to other locations that will abort their babies. So the need for prayer – and a peaceful presence – remains.
Today’s devotional is from Carmen Pate of Alliance Ministries.
Day 22 intention
Pray for fathers who participated in the decision to abort their child, and for those who did not have a voice, that they would find freedom and healing in Christ.
If indeed you have heard Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
— Ephesians 4: 21-23
Reflection by Carmen Pate
According to the Guttmacher Institute, one-third of American women will have had an abortion by age 45. Seldom reported however is the fact that an equally significant number of men have played a role in terminating a pregnancy.
Some have participated through persuasion, or by providing the financial means for the abortion. Still others were against an abortion, but had no sway in the decision to terminate their child.
Only in recent years have we realized that men suffer from their loss, as more and more seek healing.
Warren Williams, founder of Fathers and Brothers Ministries says he believes men are coming forward for help because God instilled in men a desire to be a protector of their lineage, a provider for their families, to be a husband and father.
Men are suffering and grieving the loss of their children, and though their grief may be expressed differently than that of a woman, it is grief nonetheless and they too need tender care and biblical counseling to experience forgiveness and healing.
Intervention at the appropriate time in the decision-making process may spare both the young man and woman from the lifelong pain and trauma of abortion. Biblical counseling for post-abortive men and women is essential for them to heal and begin their life anew in Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, We pray for young men who participated in the termination of their child and are broken as You are over their loss.
Forgive their sin, Lord, and bring opportunity for healing and renewal of their minds in Christ Jesus.
For those suffering from an abortion they did not choose, restore their joy as they learn to forgive others and trust You with their future. In the name of Christ, who heals the brokenhearted, Amen.
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