The following blog is about a real person, but his name is not Morty. I’ve purposely changed his name for reasons that will become abundantly obvious as this story unfolds.
You see, Morty’s father had an affair with a teenager. That teenager became pregnant and, out of shame and what appeared to be a complete lack of other possible options, resigned herself to getting an abortion. Morty’s father, although he had made a horrible mistake, somehow found the courage to confess to his wife what he had done. She, in what arguably took more courage and certainly took more grace, agreed to raise the child as her own. The teenager had the baby instead of the abortion, and Morty was raised in a poor but loving home, never knowing his conception was the result of infidelity until he was well past childhood.
Even though his parents weren’t Christians, the LORD reached out and miraculously drew Morty to Him at a young age. Morty worked hard, studied hard, and eventually he became a missionary, a pastor, a theologian, and a professor. He has preached the Gospel all over the world, shared the love of Jesus countless times in countless ways, trained others to do so, given of himself beyond what anyone would reasonably expect to help others, and blessed me and untold numbers with his contagious joy and zeal for life in the LORD.
I bring all this up because National Sanctity of Human Life Day is Monday, January 22.
I always think of Morty when that topic comes up because we often forget that the people who have the most to lose when we talk about life in the womb are the people who have no voice at all in the debate. It’s as if Proverbs 31:8-9 were written precisely for the unborn:
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (NLT)
God tells us in Micah 6 that He would rather we seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him than offer meaningless sacrifices out of duty or obligation.
But there is something much more important and beautiful about Morty’s story because it is most certainly not the story of just one life being saved. It is the story of many lives being saved. That teenage girl did not have to live her whole life with the shame and regret of having an abortion. Morty’s father did not have to live the rest of his days with the shame and regret of having caused an abortion. Yes, both of them had to confess their sin, live with it, and repent of it, but they did that and healed from it. Love was multiplied. Shame and regret and condemnation were dispelled and wiped out in a glorious application of John 3:17 come to life:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (ESV)
So, as we have the opportunity to talk about this, let us be absolutely crystal clear that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Let us reach out with grace and mercy and love and compassion in a way that makes this about the love and mercy and grace of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, not about condemnation or politics.
What can we bring to the LORD?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God. (NLT)