On a recent trip to India, I was moved by the story of a young pastor I met there. God directed him to marry a woman with a sexually promiscuous past, and a history of multiple abortions as a result of her lifestyle. The message from his shame-based upbringing and culture was clear: Stay away. The Lord’s voice, however, was louder: She is the woman I have chosen for you. Will you refuse?
My friend desired more to please God than to please society, so he submitted. “Whatever you want, Lord,” he prayed. “Just give me the strength.” They married. As the Lord was instructing this man about loving his new wife, he had a dream, a vision—he believes—directly from God.
He saw a massive choir singing in heaven, “Your fire fall down on us, we pray.” This group was comprised of all the babies that have been aborted from all over the earth. The gathering was larger than his eyes could see: millions, “billions, probably” of infants, all praising the Lord.
His eyes fell upon one baby in particular, and he sensed it was one of his wife’s aborted children. Upon waking he was able to describe to his wife what the baby was like, and this moment brought a measure of healing to her, who was still carrying the guilt and shame of her abortions. God was, indeed, showing this young man how to love his wife, and the Lord was using him to offer healing to her in a unique, and very specific, way.
This pastor was faithful to do what all of us are called to do when presented with the opportunity: be life-giving to those who have had abortions. Shame, depression, self-hatred, rejection—these are just a few of the common consequences of abortion. While no “worse” than other sins, abortion carries a uniquely heavy burden, and—due to its prevalence—the opportunity to speak life may be available to you. What can you do?
- Listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to respond. Listen.
- Never condemn or judge—in word, attitude, or deed.
- Pray for empathy, to understand a difficult decision.
- Offer God’s grace and the hope of Jesus. Don’t forget those areas of your life where you are in desperate need of these things yourself!
Most important, simply be willing to be used by God, and ask Him to give you an opportunity to offer His hope to someone in need of it. Abortion has created a vast mission field, and you can be a missionary! Healing and forgiveness are not yours to grant; they’re God’s. But you can extend a hand of hope, and—with God’s help—bear another’s burden.
If you have been wounded by a past abortion, healing is available to you! Visit Deeper Still to take the first step.