Many of us are probably familiar with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and, more recently, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The cruelty portrayed in these and other stories hits us hard, but even more disturbing is the portrait of humans’ penchant for self-deception. People dying while perpetrators and viewers turn a blind eye.
Yet we too turn a blind eye.
I believe that one of our blind spots today is abortion. Our nation is disturbingly comfortable with the death of the weakest and most defenseless among us.
This is a deeply tender subject. Some women are manipulated or raped, living with the consequences of another’s sin. Imagine the immense courage it takes to go full-term with a baby. Hear their stories. But if God gives life, how is this life not present at conception?
We may be against abortion. But to take a vocal stand for the baby and family is easy to relegate to others. Like the crowds watching “The Hunger Games” in Collins’s story, like the mute bystanders during American slavery, we too simply approve of the status quo when we contribute only silence. For some time I felt exonerated by my personal conviction against abortion. But I cannot simply wash my hands and point fingers, denying my own need for grace and obligation to speak out. We stand called by God to oppose the destruction of these fragile lives. These voiceless ones have no other to defend them; we are their voice.
And lest our words be hollow, we, as members of Christ’s church, are also called to walk alongside expectant mothers, those suffering after abortions, and whole families. Preserving life for nine months means nothing if we don’t support the family after birth.
Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Silence speaks volumes, making us implicit accomplices in allowing the cycle of evil to be perpetuated.
But thank God, who has provided for restoration at the cross. Where there has been abortion, abandonment, marginalization, or silence, there is also pardon and the invitation to a new life. Jesus’ forgiveness frees us to add our voices to those crying out on behalf of unborn babies and their families.
This may look different for each of us as God nudges us to action: it may begin as a conversation, a vote, a dinner delivered to an expectant mother. But we cannot be silent, because silence is approval. So we speak God’s Word on behalf of the voiceless. On behalf of Rachel, Aaron, Nina, and Justin. And we go with the confidence that the God of the living is with us.