37 Years of Silence - A Look at Concern for the UnbornRev. Robert Fleischmann, CLR National Director
When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion across the United States on January 22, 1973, I was 16 years old. I was interested in sports, work, girls, hobbies and being me – and not all necessarily in that order! I was intrigued by the bravery of my classmates who successfully protested for the right of girls to wear jeans at school. I started following politics and even ran unsuccessfully for student council. But I did nothing about abortion.
I am not completely sure why the legalized killing of unborn children didn’t capture my attention at that time. As I read through Professor Braun’s article for this issue of Clearly Caring, I think he successfully touched on the idea of involvement only after it becomes personal. I think it is easier that way. My activism did not begin until 1977, four years after abortion became legal. In that year, we lost our first child through miscarriage.
Suddenly, talk about a beating heart, fingerprints and perfectly-formed little feet connected with me. While I cannot deny disappointment that our first child died after just 12 weeks in the womb, I didn’t necessarily mourn. I had a strong faith in the providence of God. This was hardly the first decision He made that I didn’t understand, but I was learning to trust. As I learned to trust, I also became uniquely aware.
The facts of human growth and development had new meaning. Before we even suspected a pregnancy our little son or daughter had a beating heart. By the time he or she died in the womb sufficient time had passed for him or her to have brainwaves and fingerprints – and perhaps the little one may have already begun to suck a thumb and swallow.
In much the same way a picture of a second-grade child looks completely different than that same person as an adult, it is clear there is a connection. So also, our little one in the womb did not look like a miniature human being in every characteristic, but there was a connection. There were arms, hands, feet and legs – a torso supported a head and, if allowed to continue to grow, that little one would likely have grown into an adult, shaken hands with the pastor, sassed back at us parents, cried over a broken heart and matured into someone cherished and loved.
The loss of our first child heightened my awareness of the biological milestones of life in the womb.
What if that had not happened?
What if there had been no miscarriage? What if there had been no children? Whatif I had not been personally touched by anything that connects me to the development of life in the womb?
These are not mere hypothetical questions. Biblically speaking, we do not need to lose an unborn child to be concerned about unborn children. We do not need to have faced death to be concerned about the dying. Those things, in an ironic way, make our concern and awareness a little easier – though not more valid.
The Apostle James wrote that a pure and faultless religion involves looking after widows and orphans. Think about it: James is not referencing the immediate family; the concern goes beyond the nuclear family unit. This is the same kind of concern Jesus speaks about when He commends those who visit the sick, feed the hungry and house the stranger.
It is the pinnacle of Christian service to love the unlovable, to care for those you don’t know and to sacrifice for the wellbeing of others. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did for us on the cross?
If you are my peer – in your early 50s – and all you have done in this cause to protect life is to have read a story or two about the plight of unborn children in a society that has already allowed the legal killing of over 52 million of them, I encourage you to grow up. Maybe you didn’t lose a child in the womb. Maybe you don’t know anyone who made a decision to have an abortion. Maybe all you know is that the number is high, the loss is great, the killing is wrong and something has to be done.
Aren’t 37 years of silence enough?
Think about this: you probably mustered the courage to ask for a raise. You likely had the boldness to insist the car repairs were done right. You may have sacrificed a considerable amount of money for some of life’s little luxuries. Hear – right now – the silence of a heart that has stopped beating. See – at this moment – the tiny feet that will never walk. Listen – today – to the command to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8). The stakes are high, the need is real and the command is clear. Let’s not be silent any longer.
Rev. Robert Fleischmann is the National Director of Christian Life Resources. He speaks throughout North America on the Biblical approach to various life and family issues and counsels people with God’s Word in correct decision-making.
Clearly Caring Magazine-Home Edition, 1st Quarter 2010, Vol. 30, No. 1
Article Shortcut: http://www.christianliferesources.com?8589
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