By Deacon Dan Reynolds
I remember the first time seeing each one of my four boys in a sonogram. Having all sons, I began to think that “sonogram” actually meant SON-agram.” Seeing each of them from behind the veil, inside the womb, somehow made their presence more real to me. How fortunate we are to live at a time when we don’t have to wait for the baby to be in our arms in order to get a peek at them.
I can remember what a joy it was to gaze upon their little fingers and feet, to see them sucking their thumb. Oh, and, of course, to look for that part of their anatomy, that acts as the “gender reveal.” My parents and grandparents, and all the folks before them, never had that opportunity to see their child in a sonogram. As I thought about that, I realized whether I had seen my children or not in a sonogram really didn’t affect the reality of their presence or their life in the womb. They were just as alive as I was. My boys, as well as anyone else’s children, are just as much present and alive whether we can see them beforehand or not.
WE are special and precious sons and daughters of God. WE are God’s gifts to ourselves and God’s gifts to one another. Though we are all different, we are the same in our value as God’s children. Just as you have different children, you love them all the same because they are precious to you. This is sort of how God loves us, but God loves us and our children infinitely more than we do. Sadly, in today’s world, we have replaced God’s Law of “Thou shalt not kill” with man’s law of “Thou shalt kill, if thou chooses.” In replacing God’s Law with man’s law, we have said, “My will, not Thy will.” In Salvation History, throughout the ENTIRE Bible, EVERY time, without exception, that humanity has chosen MY WILL over THY WILL, we have run into disastrous results. It’s all part of history. It’s also true that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That’s the path we’re on right now and I’m very sad to say we are WAAAAAY down that path. The most glaring example of this path is the holocaust of abortion.
There are many reasons given as to why a woman kills the baby she’s carrying. All of these different reasons, no matter what they are, do not consider this fact which is true in every pregnancy: The baby whose life is being taken is not at fault, has done nothing wrong, and is purely innocent. For whatever reason, whether through God’s will or permissive will, that a child was conceived, the gift of life was given. God is the one who has the “choice” to give the gift of life or to decide when to take it. What humans do, like Adam and Eve did with the fruit on the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”—we grab it, and pull the fruit of the womb off the tree of life. We have not learned from our very first parents’ mistake how grabbing a gift instead of accepting a gift hurts the gift, but also hurts ourselves.
When talking about abortion, we must always keep in mind to separate the sin and the sinner. This is exactly what Jesus did. Remember Jesus said he came to save us, not to condemn us, BUT … we must want to be saved! God does not save us against our own free will when we choose MY will over THY Will. God is ALWAYS willing to forgive a repentant sinner. We can judge the sinful act as wrong, like abortion, but we cannot judge the sinner. This is God’s domain, and he will be the final arbitrator of judgment and mercy. With loving and forgiving hearts, not with hate speech and self-righteousness, we will win hearts away from the idea that we can choose to kill a baby in the womb. We are ALL of us sinners. We have all misused God’s gifts one way or another. So, let us not throw stones; let us sow seeds of love.
Let me tell you why I’m speaking out about abortion. It’s very personal for me. I’m only here because of an abortion that was being planned, but DID NOT take place. In 1935, my grandmother was 15 years old and she became pregnant with my mom. This was down South in the Bible Belt. Grandma’s dad was dead, and her aunts wanted to send my grandma out of state to have an abortion. They did everything to convince her to have an abortion. They told her things like “You can’t support yourself and a baby”; “Think about your future”; “You’re not married”; “You’ll be ridiculed and bring shame on the family.” Thank God my grandma fought back and chose the life growing in her, my mother. It wasn’t easy, but the fruit of that decision brought my mother into the world. My mother had five children (I’m the oldest), 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren—my grandmother’s choice for life was not a choice to save one life. I’m sure, at the time, she thought it was, but God’s gifts are full and overflowing. Grandma’s choice was a choice to save 24 lives … and counting.
Please remember this: A baby in the womb is a human being, a body AND a soul. A baby is not a “choice.” Do you know what IS a choice? Love. Love is choosing the good of another.
Deacon Dan Reynolds is the Pastoral Associate at St. Margaret Church, Homer.