As a teenager, I was not living as God intends. On a sunny fall day when I was 15 I heard a knock at our Gunnison, Colo., home. With a full house, it was I, by chance (or not), who answered the door.
There stood a girl – we’ll call her Lisa – with tears streaming down her face. I hadn’t seen her for months. She hadn’t been in school. As a volley of muffled cheers came from the living room in celebration of a John Elway touchdown, I opened my mouth to speak.
Lisa interrupted me.
“My mom thought it was right for me to tell you,” she said, “that I had an abortion and the kid was yours.”
Her mom sat in the car behind her glaring at me. I’ll never forget the expression on her face. It was a jarring blend of contempt, anger and pain.
Lisa turned and walked away. I said nothing. I wish I could say I felt shame, but, mostly, I was just relieved that my parents didn’t know.
I never saw Lisa again. She moved away shortly thereafter. It was many years later that God showed me the magnitude of that day. I had sinned against Lisa. I had mistreated one of His precious daughters. From it, a child was conceived, and, due at least in part to my negligence and callous treatment of Lisa, that child died.
A sin that led to a precious life was compounded by sins that led to a tragic death.
I mourn the loss of my first child. I can’t know for sure, but I’ve always envisioned a girl. Today, she’d be about 27. Perhaps I’d be a grandfather by now.
I’ve never been able to find Lisa, but I wish I could. I’d ask her to forgive me for the horrible way I treated her. If she didn’t already know, I’d tell her of Christ’s love for both of us and our child in heaven. I’d tell her that forgiveness, redemption and salvation are available to all who ask and believe upon Jesus.
Please know that I don’t write this letter to hurt you.
Know that I don’t judge you. How could I?
I hurt with you.
The enemy of the world is a liar. He is wicked beyond comprehension. You were lied to. Satan loves death. In the context of abortion, he deceptively calls it “choice.”
But it’s only death.
There is no freedom in death, except for those whose names are written in the Book of Life.
God is good beyond comprehension. He wants to write your name in the book of life.
Jesus promised: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Of both you and your lost child God says this: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. …” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Come to Jesus and He will comfort you. Come to Jesus and He will forgive you. Come to Jesus and He will use for good that which was intended for evil.
Even your abortion.
Come to know Christ, and one day, in that place where sin is dead and life eternal, the baby you never knew – that child who knows you, loves you and has already forgiven you – will rush to your arms and say to you: “Mommy, I’ve been waiting for you. Welcome home.”
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).