I have continued thinking about Thursday's post on the issue of abortion. It generated some thoughtful comments, and a private email discussion with another friend, all of which helped me sort out my thoughts better than I had when I wrote on Thursday evening.
What I wrote I sounds judgemental and black and white. And I used the words "erase the result of an unthinkable assault." Abortion ends a life and I diminished that fact by my choice of words. That doesn't mean though, that I stand in judgement on anyone who has made that choice, no matter how painfully or easily. So I wanted to come back to the topic with greater care.
The friend who wrote to me privately said that what bothered her was that many who believe it is wrong to kill an unborn baby through abortion advocate for capital punishment and support their country going to war to kill other people, especially in countries that supply their oil.
She emphasized the importance of giving women facing an unwanted pregnancy a range of choices, including support in choices that don't involve ending the pregnancy. Pro Choice agencies really only advocate one choice--abortion; but real choice means being informed of all of the options and the potential results, without pressure.
Jamie wrote in a comment that "of all the choices we have in this life, the choice that others have is not ours to make." I thought that comment profound.
J. wrote about two situations where rape was involved and both women had their child. One kept her child and the other child was adopted. One of the women found faith in Christ after the birth of her baby and some time later turned in a grocery line to see the man who had raped her. When she saw him she was able to extend forgiveness. She made the point that for both women the rape and pregnancy were not choices they made, but it was God's choice that they conceived (for there are no "mistakes" in this world when children are conceived,) and in the end it was the women's choice to have the children.
Susan's comment was a perfect conclusion:
Paul is right. We don't condemn. But though I wouldn't condemn another for the choice they make, I would have a difficult time making that choice myself.
God very often asks us to do the hard thing in the short term - and to trust him for how it turns out in the long term. It's not what happens TO us that is so important in determining the measure of blessing that rests on our lives - it is our RESPONSE to what happens TO us. If we respect his ways and disdain our own short answers, he never, ever, ever lets us down. Ever.
But he is also a God who forgives. And we have ALL fallen short - thousands of times in a myriad of ways. I would never think I was better than someone who felt they had to make a different choice...So, thank you dear friends on the journey, for helping talk this through to a good and loving place. For those that were in the "live" discussion on Thursday, if anyone felt judged for sharing your opinion, and is reading here now, please forgive me for sounding (and maybe being,) so self righteous.