I had the honor of offering a prayer during the dedication ceremony for a new Life Centers location in Plainfield yesterday. And, tomorrow, I have the joy of celebrating my son’s tenth birthday. What do these events have to do with one another?
The common thread is my conviction that unborn lives matter.
My conviction isn’t abstract. It’s personal. Kelly was 18-weeks pregnant when we heard the dreadful words every parent fears: “I’m sorry. There’s something wrong with your baby.” In the span of 30 minutes, we went from excitedly anticipating the discovery of the gender of our first child to anxiously huddled in a genetic counselor’s office being told that our son had a slim chance of being compatible with life.
We prepared ourselves to be told that we had the choice to terminate the pregnancy, to avoid all the pain and difficulty that would certainly come our way. But we chose life.
The last decade has brought its share of hardship, fear, and doubt. However, it has also brought immeasurable blessing, laughter, joy, growth, and wonder. By God’s grace, here we are!
Why do unborn lives matter?
We live in a culture in which the short journey from the womb to the delivery room is all that separates life that doesn’t matter from life that does matter. Isn’t that madness?
There are a number of truths that underscore why unborn lives matter:
1. We are made in God’s image.
When God created the cosmos, he placed man and woman in it as his crowning achievement. He created us in his image and we are, therefore, different in essence from anything and everything else in the universe. We have intrinsic worth. Our value is not earned by virtue or maintained by our capacity to make a valuable contribution to society. It is invested in us by the mere fact of our existence. We reflect God’s capacity for rich relationships. We long to create and witness beauty. We yearn for knowledge and wisdom, for purpose, and for life.
Unborn lives matter because all human life bears God’s indelible mark.
2. God is involved in the details of conception and development.
Life is a miracle. I still find myself stunned, in awe of the fact that a man and a woman can create new life. It’s much, much more than a mere biological process. It’s wonder. Beauty. Art. And, God is involved in even the tiniest details. In fact, it is so wonderful, only poetry can come close to doing justice. King David writes:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Unborn lives matter because they are the special concern of God the Father.
3. Every human life has potential for good.
Did you know that over 57 million abortions have occurred in the US since abortion became legal in 1973? I often wonder about what those 57 million lives could have become. A little girl aborted in 1973 would be 42 years old right now, in the prime of her life. Might she have discovered the cure to cancer? Could she have been raising a few beautiful children? What if she was writing music or creating art to inspire and thrill the world? Could she have been leading a company? Might she have been holding elected office and helping to shape the laws of our nation?
Every human life has the potential for great good, to make the world a better place. The Apostle Paul says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Created for good works. Prepared in advance and known by God.
Unborn lives matter because of their positive potential.
4. How we treat the weak reveals the heart of our culture.
Do you want to know what is at the heart of a culture? Look at how it collectively treats the marginalized: the unborn, the sick, the elderly, the poor, the foreigners, and the imprisoned. Nothing is more revealing of the decay we see all around us than the legal holocaust that has been taking place since 1973. Do those sound like strong words? Do they startle you? They are. And, they should. They are true.
Unborn lives matter because they reveal the heart of our culture.
What about you?
For those who have had an abortion or who know someone who has: I pray you know that you’re not beyond the forgiveness of your Heavenly Father. He knows your past and your pain. He values you and he wants you to cling to him. Do you know him?
For all of us: Do you value life? Do your actions and attitudes reflect your answer to that question? What can you do, both now and in the future, to value life?