Forty eight years ago Shirley got into a car and drove from Denver to Boston to have an illegal abortion. She already had one child and couldn’t afford another mouth to feed. Too poor to fully provide but too proud for government assistance, Shirley decided that one was enough.
After all, wasn’t there already too much pain in her world, too much pain in the world? Even if she decided to keep the baby there was a good chance he/she wouldn’t survive in the high crime rate area where she resided. Violence was part of her neighborhood ritual and Shirley was often at the epicenter of it. She couldn’t bring another life into her world of pain . . . or that’s what she tried to convince herself of anyway.
To add insult to psychological injury, this unwanted pregancy was the accidental result of a short term relationship with a guy she hardly knew. So, instead of shaming herself in front of her strict Baptist parents, she escaped to Boston under the guise of visiting relatives. She would take a life and save her life in the process.
But then a voice for the voiceless intervened.
Shirley’s relatives in Boston spoke to her on behalf of the baby in her womb. They encouraged her to go through with the pregnacy with the promise that everything would work out just fine.
Eventually, her parents heard that Shirley was pregnant. They got ahold of her and told her that they would help her raise the baby. They begged her to come back to Denver so that they could be there when he/she was born.
Even her six year old son was a voice for this little baby. When he discovered his mommy was pregnant with a future sibling he told her that he couldn’t wait! He really wanted a brother or sister.
All of these voices combined to speak on behalf of, not some gestating “fetus,“ but a real person developing in Shirley’s womb.
All of these voices spoke on behalf of, well . . . me.
You see, Shirley was my mom. She traveled more than half way across America to abort me and she probably would have if those voices had not intervened on my behalf. I thank God they did. I thank God she didn’t.
I don’t know where you are on the issue of abortion, but I do know this . . . life is precious. If you are pro-abortion I challenge you to take a second look at this important issue, but this time through unborn eyes. These pre-born people are not globs of flesh and tissue. They are yet-to-be-born human beings, made in the image of God and created to experience life. Yes, some of them will have severe challenges if they are born into this fallen world, but they deserve a chance to face those challenges. I’m glad I got that chance.
Yes, I was raised poor and in a violent neighborhood. No, I never knew my dad. But, through the ashes of these struggles I met my real daddy, my heavenly Daddy. And He used my rough upbringing to forge in me a passion for life and a heart for the gospel. By His grace I was able to lead my mom to Christ when I was only fifteen years old. I’ll never forget the look of guilt flush from her face when she said “yes” to Jesus while smoking her cigarette that day. Although she is now with the Lord I think I can feel her cheering me on as she leans over the banister of heaven, grateful that she chose life.
Because she chose life I’ve been blessed to plant a church and start a ministry called Dare 2 Share. Through the Dare 2 Share conferences I’ve had the honor of mobilizing arenas full of teenagers across America to become agents of hope in a dark world.
I would have not been able to do any of this if I would have died before I was born. I would have not been able to do any of this if others hadn’t been a voice for me when I was still in my momma’s womb.
Be a voice for the voiceless with the women you know who are pregnant. Don’t judge or guilt trip them but gently persuade them to have the baby. Pray for them and introduce them to Jesus Christ so that he, through His Holy Spirit, can whisper conviction into their hearts.
Being a voice for the voiceless should influence our worldviews, our morals, our politics and our practices. I’m convinced it is one of the greatest social justice issues of our generation.
Speak up. Give hope. Choose life.