Dec 15, 2015

We Care, and Not Just about Adorable Babies: Living Pro-Life, Part II

By Angela Erickson

In Part I, Angela talked about embracing the woman who was losing parental rights to two of the children that Angela and her husband were fostering. Here, she shares more about living pro-life.

I believe life begins at conception, each human a glorious unfolding of God-given potential--regardless of background or the way in which the baby was conceived. Abortion breaks my heart. I would lovingly tell ANY woman considering abortion, without judgment, that if she doesn’t desire to parent her baby, we would be honored to do so. I know numerous other families have struggled with infertility (or haven’t) and feel similarly. Every abortion could have been a baby, an answer to the prayers of a loving family. Isaiah 1:17 (ESV) tells us, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.” Christians use this verse to support adoption, and the loving provision of homes to children who need them.

The majority of Christians in America today would identify themselves as “pro-life.” But to some of our fellow Americans, that just appears to mean that we are anti-abortion and not much else. As the Casting Crowns song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” aptly states, “Nobody knows what we’re for, only what we’re against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines, and loved like You did?” While abortion is unequivocally against our pro-life stance, what if more could be shown in our declarations?

I am so tired of hearing that pro-life Christians are only against abortions, but not for helping those babies once they are born, nor the mothers who choose life for their babies but subsequently have to live in poverty and be a “drain on the system.” False.

Recently following the comments attached to an online article on the topic, I repeatedly saw, “If you’re against abortion, what have you personally as a so-called Christian done yourself for these unwanted babies? Have you fostered or adopted children? Have you fed the hungry or invited the homeless into your home?” That irks me, knowing that so many loving Christians DO accomplish much good in their communities because of their understanding that all life is sacred.

However, that’s a fair challenge.

I am not saying that all Christians follow that stereotype. But what witness does our world see about Christ and His Church from the news, the media, from our everyday actions? What if we went above and beyond to prove that we value ALL life as our God does?

By declaring that I am “pro-life,” I am not called to be concerned with only adorable babies. Could the verse above focus on modern-day single mothers and foster children? How about a homeless person we see on the corner? What about someone from a different cultural or socio-economic experience than us, or in another part of the world? Aren’t their lives valuable to their Creator? Could our valuing life extend to the annoying or hurtful person at work or in our church?

I love my babies. They needed a home and we jumped at the chance to be their parents. We were called to this life of fostering and adopting as our parenting journey, and feel blessed to be used in this manner. And that day at court with Michelle helped me realize that every interaction we have is an opportunity to be pro-life. Jesus’s words clearly say, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40, ESV) To be pro-life meant, at that moment, to hug the birth mother of my adoptive children and cry in a bathroom with her.

All life is sacred. All life. That’s why Christians are against abortion: it ends a life. It’s important to spread our message in gentle love that babies have rights as well as women. There are so many families ready to adopt, and many organizations willing to walk beside those in need in a caring manner. This part IS incredibly important to us and to our Creator.

Beyond the abortion issue, let’s be known for proclaiming God’s love and salvation to all mankind. We may not agree with each other on everything, but we can still value people and extend compassion. We can still step out in faith, even when it’s uncomfortable. Let’s get messy in this wonderful, crazy community God has provided for us--at home, in our country, and throughout His world.

What can you do today to share His mercy? Think big or small! Participate in a missionary trip overseas. Invite someone to Thanksgiving dinner who may be alone or in need of a meal. Volunteer in a food pantry or crisis pregnancy center in your home town. Pray about what God’s people can do regarding the refugee crisis happening right now. Whatever it is, GO! DO!

In Part I, I shared about that day in the courtroom not to bring attention to myself or our family. I am guilty of so many lost chances when I could have shared kindness, of not wanting to love uncomfortably. I was convicted and humbled as I remembered “what kind of love the Father has given to us.” (1 John 3:1) If He can lavish me with love, grace, and daily forgiveness, I can in some small way, with the help of His Spirit, attempt to do so to my fellow human beings--however many mistakes I make along the way.

God inspired James to write, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17, ESV) Let’s show the world a living faith that moves beyond politics and boundaries, beyond comfort zones.


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A graduate of Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, Angela served as Director of Christian Education and then middle school teacher in Texas before moving back to her home state of beautiful Colorado. She and her husband Kyle have fostered eleven children and adopted four. Reading, writing, running, and singing are a few of her favorite things.


Image: "Lazarus at the rich man's gate" by Fedor Bronnikov, 1886

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