All grandparents like to show off pictures of their grandchildren, and I am no exception. Since I can’t corner all of you in a grocery store, you will have to view this photo from the ultrasound.
My wife who is a nurse refers to this latest addition to our family as Peanut, since he or she is about the size and shape of well…a peanut. I don’t know much about obstetrics, but I did learn one astonishing fact, at six weeks old, Peanut has a heart that is pumping along at 120 beats per minute. Pretty darn impressive for a person who is the size and shape of a small legume.
I don’t know what he or she will be. Like any grandfather, I am hoping he or she will be a Nobel Prize Laureate, or a Supreme Court Justice, but that is not for me to decide. But as I gazed at the picture you see here, what became evident to me is that there is the potential for my next grandchild to be anything he or she wants. At this moment, my new grandchild is life in its purest form.
I read about Code Pink protesting the convention, dressed as genitalia, and I wondered why these people are never seen picketing the Chinese Embassy, boycotting Chinese goods, or asking the President to put pressure on China’s human rights policies. If there ever was a government that keeps putting its laws all over women’s bodies, it is the Chinese.
But the Left shows no interest in protesting China’s forced abortion policies. The Left is content to remain enraged and indignant, hair flying back, jaws set, eyes wild; and firm in its defiance of any pro-life idea. That is all the more reason for Christians to be present in a debate that will portray conservatives and Christians as the oppressors of women, not as the advocates of people.
When I was a young liberal, I was unabashedly pro-choice. I had a button bearing a picture of a coat hanger with a slash through it and even marched in a pro-choice demonstration chanting “Women have died because of Hyde” without the slightest idea who Henry Hyde was. I took particular pleasure in going head-to-head with the pro-life crowd, who I regarded as backward, self-important, and woefully naive.
What changed my mind? It wasn’t “Silent Scream” or disturbing images of aborted fetuses. It was Christianity, but not a hellfire-and-brimstone sermon. It was a simple quote attributed to Mother Theresa who said “Please, if you don’t want those children, give them to me.” And if you know anything about Mother Theresa, you know she meant every word of that statement.
It was those words that brought home for me the fact that the majority of the Christian pro-life movement was not about false piety, hatred, or accusations but about compassion.
Abortion is, was and always shall be the deadly third rail of public discourse. Immigration, entitlements, Social Security, none of those topics have the power to enrage or energize a person like the topic of abortion. If one adds the element of rape to the discussion, an accelerant is thrown on the blaze.
Despite the Left’s efforts to demonize the pro-life movement, and pro-life Christians, Christians have a chance to add a dimension to the discussion that never seems to be present.
At the center of Christianity is the concept that Christ offered Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins, and to pay a debt which we could never satisfy. An important corollary to that doctrine is that in doing so, Christ transformed pain into glory, loss into victory and death into life. Out of the bloody sweat of torture and crucifixion, Christ rescued a world.
When I was on a mission trip to Cambodia, I listened to a pastor deliver a devotional about how when evil is done to a person, that person does has options as to how they will respond. Rape is a horrible, violent despicable crime. It is one of the most brutal assaults one human being can commit against another. But within a pregnancy resulting from that crime is the seed of renewal and of hope.
There lies potential.
There are few out there who would condemn a woman for aborting a pregnancy resulting from rape. That having been said, out of such a vicious assault, comes the opportunity to affirm life, and to stand against evil and not allow the works of darkness to add death to its list of accomplishments that day. Yes, a mother who has endured the hell of rape can choose to abort, but she can also choose to raise the child or place the child with a loving caring family who for whatever reason cannot conceive and who wants desperately to have a child of its own.
Out of the seeds of degradation, humiliation, pain and unspeakable terror lies the uniquely Christian potential to defeat evil and to say to it “You shall not triumph; for even out of your darkest deeds something good shall grow.” As Christ’s suffering on the cross brought new life, so too can a rape victim claim her life and body for her own and bring new life and new hope to the world.
That is no small feat- it is a heroic act. The act of carrying a child to term and delivering it is heroic enough in and of itself. To do so after the savage act of rape is nothing short of epic. It is not an easy road to travel for such a woman and she would need to be constantly reminded that a sin was not committed by her but against her. But heroes never have an easy road.
But in doing so, that woman will affirm that one of the most important aspects of human existence is that in spite of evil done to her, she will not allow evil to abide in her. In spite of someone else’s sin, and not because of it, she carries the potential to defeat that evil and to affirm life and to affirm that potential.