As I watch the unfolding of the amazing undercover work of David Daleiden and his team at the Center For Medical Progress, their systematic exposing of what Planned Parenthood really does, and the viral wave of postings on social media about abortion I can’t help but think of the millions of people effected by the death of an unborn child.
I know that these gruesome videos of baby parts being picked out of dishes with tweezers and sold for God only knows what, is impacting the parents and loved ones of those babies far deeper than it is impacting me. I know this because they are telling me. Late night inboxes, phone calls, long talks on my front porch, people are hurting at a level that psychologizing or disassociating will not heal. A door has been opened and we are seeing inside of the death camps; the ovens; the work of the machete and as the world reacts, those with guilt have been engulfed with shame and in their silent trauma do not know where to go.
A sea of broken people are searching for answers…
I wonder as I see the windfall of posts and comments about the abortion industry if Christians are realizing that a sea of broken people are searching for answers. We as Christians have that answer but if they do not hear a note of compassion, a hint of kindness, a peep of empathy they will not ask us. Truth is to be spoken but it must be wrapped in love or we are doing nothing more than clanging a loud irritating bell. It is the kindness of God that leads to repentance and through kindness we can gain an ear to hear the truth and the way of life and light.
Late one night last week I received an inbox asking the question “Is there any possible way that you personally would see an abortion as acceptable?”
My immediate response was no. Even in rape. But as I typed my clear and certain belief the Holy Spirit grabbed a wisp of my attention. As the next message came I was asked about a hypothetical and before I gave the, “Those hypotheticals don’t really exist” answer, I put myself in the shoes he defined and honestly replied that in that particular case I would have to hear from the Lord. That’s when he asked to meet with me.
Face to Face
I offered him a seat on my front porch. I was curious because I had been praying for this kid for years but had no real communication with him; not even sure why he had stuck with me for so long without any relationship so I was eager to hear what he wanted to tell me.
I couldn’t help but notice how thin he was and even a bit aged for such a young man. He seemed strong somehow, like the nonsense of youth had been driven out of him and as if he had gained wisdom at a high price.
He began by trying to explain the diagnosis.
It was difficult for him to say. He stopped making eye contact and gaps of silence began to arrest his speech. I have seen this type of trauma before. He would catch himself in silence and then try to force out more basic information about the birth defect.
“Lila was a twin you know.” I didn’t know. It’s how we talk in Wisconsin.
“They wanted us to have an ultra sound and the technician said “something’s wrong”. He changed his voice when he said “something’s wrong” as if he was there in the moment and even remembered the voice inflections of the technician.
“So we went in for another ultra sound, to a specialist and he told us that the other baby, we call her baby A, had Anencephaly”. He still wasn’t looking at me so he didn’t see me recoil at calling the other child ‘Baby A’. He didn’t know, I thought.
“Baby A’s skull didn’t form correctly and we could see on the ultrasound that her brain, we think she was a her, but we don’t call her, her, so, Baby A’s skull wasn’t formed and you could see her brain, like the outer edges and the doctor said there is no way that she could make it.” As he spoke I wondered if he had to call the other baby ‘Baby A’ to disassociate some because the pain was unbearable.
Later I wanted to understand the choice they had to make so I Googled Anencephaly:
“Anencephaly is a serious developmental defect of the central nervous system in which the brain and cranial vault are grossly malformed. The cerebrum and cerebellum are reduced or absent, but the hindbrain is present. This defect results when the neural tube fails to close during the third to fourth weeks of development, leading to fetal loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
“So they were twins,”
he said. “But the problem was that they shared the same placenta. Different water sacs but the same placenta. That is very rare.”
“They must have been fraternal twins then.” I added just thinking through the extreme rarity of the situation, wondering if fraternal twins shared the same placenta or they each had their own usually.
“Baby A wasn’t going to make it and the brain could like erupt in some spot at any time, or she would die at any time, but if she dies and bleeds because the babies share the same placenta, Lila would also bleed out”. Then he looked at me, almost pleading with his eyes for me to understand. My God I thought what have these two kids been through? What choices were they forced to make?
“So to save Lila we had to take the life of baby A.”
What really is “Choice”?
“I don’t think that I made the wrong choice. I am not asking you to tell me that I made the right choice or the wrong choice. I just wanted to talk to someone who had a firm conviction about abortion because everyone was like yes, yes, good choice but they all believe in abortion and I wanted to know what you thought, what a person who believed it was wrong would think. Even though I know that I made the right decision I am suffering because of the loss, because of the choice and I don’t think people realize how it is after.”
He shifted his weight in the rocking chair that he was sitting in and he pushed back his bangs and took a breath. “This isn’t easy for me to talk about.”
I was sitting there silent, seeking God in my spirit, waiting for what I should say. Something very important was happening and I wanted to be yielding to the Spirit and not trying to answer in my own wisdom.
He sat forward and burst into tears that he tried to hold back. He wiped his eyes quickly but couldn’t repress what was happening. I did not speak. He sat forward now, his face in his hands and let himself cry for just a second and then began wiping tears away again.
“I hadn’t thought of it that way. I hadn’t thought of it like that.” He said as he gained his composure. “Do you think she understands why,” he whispered not seeming to be looking for an answer.
“It makes me happy, so happy but it also makes me sad”. He looked up again searching for what, maybe understanding, I couldn’t tell. I had deep joy in that moment being able to offer truth to him that would set some of his repressed grief free and begin some healing that will change the trajectory of his life: I am certain.
A Choice of Life
We talked about the choice to save Lila’s life and that it was between he, her mother, and God as it should be. We talked about the Bible saying that we should not murder and if murder is in our hearts then we have sinned but saving life was at the root of his choice, not murder. There was no other way for Lila to live.
I listened to Josh talk about the pain and grief and confusion about loosing Baby A and I watched his eyes light up as he considered that he would see her face to face one day and that she is alive in Christ and knows why he did what he did. For Josh there is healing in these thoughts of the reality that is.
But for the others, the vast majority who chose death for convenience, they are also dealing with their loss. Most of them suffer in silence and in arresting shame and I cannot imagine what watching these newly released videos are doing to them. They are victims even as they are perpetrators. [pullquote]They are victims even as they are perpetrators.[/pullquote]
Josh also asked me to share his story because he wanted to let people know that his entire world would have changed if both babies could have lived. Can you imagine his reaction as he watches these perfectly healthy viable babies be slaughtered because of inconvenience? I don’t know what to say to make any real difference. I have begged woman to not kill their child and had to let them back into my house the same evening they did it because they were weeping at my back door. Many decided to keep their babies but many did not. And the truth of the matter is places like Planned Parenthood are going to exist as long as it’s legal because there is big money to be had.
But a reality exists regardless of political spin, or corrosion to abort, or a redefining of babies being tissue. That reality is that a soul was created and baby began upon inception and one day everyone will know and everyone will see. I wonder like Josh did, “Do you think she understands why?”