Gaining God’s Heart for the Unborn
By LESLIE LUDY
It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
When our first child, Hudson, was almost two, I became pregnant with our second child. Excitedly, we told our son he was going to be a big brother. We announced to friends and family that there was a new little Ludy on the way. We tossed around ideas for baby names. We calculated the due date. Life rolled along, and we happily anticipated the new addition to our family.
And then one morning, our excitement came to a screeching halt. I woke up with several alarming symptoms, and I had the sickening suspicion that I had miscarried my baby. An emergency visit to the doctor confirmed my fear. The life that had been growing inside of me had abruptly ended. For the next twenty-four hours, I was in a daze of shock and disbelief.
I wasn’t quite sure how to process such a sudden, unexpected loss. I didn’t want to fall apart emotionally. I had a young son to raise, a husband, and a ministry life to tend to. I made up my mind to be strong, keep a stiff upper lip, and move on. After all, as the doctor reminded me, I could always get pregnant again. And the life that had been lost was only six weeks along in development; not yet even resembling a baby. I hadn’t felt the baby kick, heard the heartbeat, or seen the ultrasound. At this early stage in the pregnancy, it wasn’t really a devastating tragedy; it was just more of a disappointment. Or so I told myself.
But for some reason, there was a growing despair in my soul over losing the pregnancy. Some nights I lay awake in bed nearly suffocated by an inexplicable emotional pain.
Many weeks went by, and I did my best to ignore the grief in my heart and simply keep moving forward with my life. I thought the best way to honor God through the situation was to accept what had happened with a resilient attitude and not let it slow me down. Yet the grief continued to amplify just under the surface of my emotions. And finally one day, I could not contain my sadness anymore. I lay across my bed and wept uncontrollably, grieving for the child that I would never meet this side of Heaven. It was the first time since the miscarriage I had even allowed myself to cry.
For weeks I’d been telling myself that what happened was “no big deal.” But now, I was coming face-to-face with the true reality of the situation. It was a big deal. In fact, it was a horrible tragedy. A little life — precious to God, formed in His image, shaped by His hand — had been suddenly snuffed out. I thought about the words of Scripture:
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
…from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…
To God, the baby that had perished was not just a barely-developed fetus or blob of cells and tissues. It was a priceless human child; a masterpiece of His creation — with its very own heartbeat, its very own DNA, and its very own destiny; a destiny that had been abruptly cut short before it had a chance to be fulfilled.
God was weeping over the untimely death of this precious child. The best way to honor Him through this loss was not to shrug off the pain and move on; but to allow myself to feel what He felt; to care as deeply as He cared.
Once I finally allowed myself to grieve for this little life — to see what God was seeing, to feel what He was feeling — it changed everything. My life has never been the same since.
Eric and I had a ceremony for our little lost child. We named the baby. We wrote letters saying goodbye. My heart was still sorrowful over what had happened, but God began to work a deep healing within my soul.
He also began to work something else within my soul — the ability to carry His burden for the weak and vulnerable; to weep over children being orphaned and enslaved; and to grieve over the countless unborn lives being snuffed out before they’d had a chance to fulfill their God-given destinies.
Eric and I had been working in full-time Christian ministry for most of our married life. But we’d become so busy that we’d begun to overlook the orphan, the needy, and the vulnerable. Through our own tragic loss, God awakened us to the cry of the more than 143 million orphans around the world. He gripped our hearts with the millions of young girls caught in the trafficking cycle. He burdened our hearts for the abused child-soldiers in Uganda, the destitute starving children in Liberia, and the persecuted street-children in Brazil.
And He opened our eyes to an injustice no less grievous than all of these heart-wrenching dramas; an incomprehensible travesty happening not halfway across the world, but right down the street from us — and in nearly every city across this nation. Countless women being targeted, manipulated, deceived, and exploited by a cunning money-hungry machine known as the abortion industry. And millions of innocent, helpless lives being ruthlessly snuffed out at the hands of abortionists, without the ability to defend themselves.
As I grieved for the unborn baby I had lost, I began to catch a glimpse of God’s overwhelming, heartbreaking grief for the precious babies being deliberately aborted right down the street, and all around the world.
I had always been “pro-life.” But as God worked in my heart through this experience, the issue of abortion became far more than a box to check on my voting ballet once every few years. Now, I began to carry the very burden of God for the unborn, feeling at the very deepest levels of my soul the inestimable value of each precious life created by His loving hand.
From that point forward, the words of Proverbs 31:8 became a passion point for my life:
Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Who are these speechless ones God is referring to? Who are these helpless victims appointed to die? The answer is more obvious than most of us realize.
In addition to the millions of orphans and vulnerable children all around this world, there are millions of threatened unborn babies all over America. And just like the orphaned and abandoned children, they are desperately calling out for advocates to rescue them.
In this country alone, 23,000 babies were killed just this week at the hands of abortionists. 1.2 million babies are murdered within their mother’s wombs each year. One in four babies conceived in America is surgically aborted. Abortions outnumber live births in at least fourteen U.S. metropolitan areas. And these horrifying numbers are only growing every year.
If we will not open our mouths for these helpless ones; if we will not take up the cause and fight for life, who will?
Abortion in America is not just a disturbing political issue. It is a silent genocide. It is a crisis of unfathomable, epidemic proportions.
Many of us have wished for a worthy cause to give our lives to. We watch inspiring movies about heroes of history past, like William Wilberforce who poured out his life to end the slave trade in his day. And we long to be part of such a noble adventure.
But few of us realize the opportunity we have sitting right in front of us. We do not live in a time of peace and harmony. We live in an era where innocent lives are being slaughtered in mass, and an entire generation of young women’s lives are being ruthlessly ripped apart through the deceit.
As Christian women, we must gain the heart of God for the unborn. Many of us choose to steer clear of the abortion issue because it seems too political, too emotionally-charged, and too confusing. We aren’t really sure what to do about it. We don’t feel like we can make much of difference anyway.
So, too often, we do nothing. We shake our heads at the sadness of it, but we fail to fulfill God’s sacred call to open our mouths for the speechless and defend those helpless lives who are appointed to die tragic deaths.
I would like to challenge you to rise up — to make the crucial, deliberate choice to stand for life. To become God’s hands and feet to the weak and vulnerable lives that have no voice to cry for them and no advocate to fight for them.
You and I were chosen to live in a time such as this. And no matter how helpless you might feel, remember that the God of the universe stands for life. He is the Author of it. When we stand for life, we stand with our King. And the strength of heaven backs us up when we carry God’s burdens and fight God’s battles.
Here are some ways to begin:
If you are close to someone who is considering abortion, get on your knees and fight on behalf of this priceless unborn life. Lovingly exhort your friend to choose life. Offer to go with her to visit your local crisis pregnancy center. Be her advocate. And be an advocate for the life within her. Your influence and prayers can mean the difference between life and death.
Remember, the culture we live in is deceptive and cunning. Pro-choice organizations such as Planned Parenthood are not the wise, caring counselors they claim to be. They do not have a woman’s best interest at heart. And they certainly do not have God’s interests at heart. They are not there to provide good solid wisdom and a clear understanding of the options; they exist only to take a woman’s money and ruin her life.
DON’T TAKE THIS BATTLE LIGHTLY.
So don’t take this battle lightly. Be willing to get uncomfortable, ask difficult questions, and wrestle in prayer on behalf of those who are appointed to die.
Open your eyes
Allow God to give you His heart for unborn lives that are in danger of being snuffed out. A great place to start is by downloading my husband Eric’s sermon, The Auschwitz Within, as well as his short film, Depraved Indifference, which was taken from a message he spoke at a pro-life banquet. I also recommend the powerful spoken word video, Choice, produced by Living Waters ministry. Another compelling and eye-opening film that exposes the agenda of the abortion industry is called Blood Money: The Business of Abortion, available for purchase at Amazon.com. Two excellent fiction books that give a glimpse into the spiritual battle over this issue are The Prophet by Frank Peretti and Atonement Child by Francine Rivers.
Most importantly, study what the Bible has to say about the value of life and the importance of protecting the cause of the weak and vulnerable. Ask God to increase your passion for the burdens that He Himself carries.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. I know many Christians who regularly go to areas where abortion clinics are, not to picket or demonstrate, but to simply stand spiritually against that horrible evil through persistent prayer. I recently heard the incredible testimony of a woman who ran several abortion clinics for many years. Through a series of divine circumstances, she became convicted of her sin, gave her life to Jesus Christ, and did a complete about-face both spiritually and practically. She now fights on behalf of the unborn and exposes the evil agenda of the abortion industry. Such stories remind us that the faithful prayers of the saints can lead to mighty victories — one life at a time.
THE FAITHFUL PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS CAN LEAD TO MIGHTY VICTORIES — ONE LIFE AT A TIME.
If you have children, let them join you in praying for this battle. They don’t need to know all the details of abortion to pray for the lives of the unborn. For example, in our family it is as simple as telling our children that there are many babies in danger of being killed before they are born, and then asking them to stand with us in prayer for them. They are always eager to pray for these little at-risk lives — it helps them realize that even at their young age, they can become part of God’s rescue solution for these precious children.
Consider volunteering at your local crisis pregnancy center or supporting it financially. While abortion clinics are lucrative and well-funded, organizations that provide abortion alternatives and free pro-life counseling are often in desperate need of financial support.
Another way to get involved practically in this battle is to reach out to single mothers in your community. You can also offer practical and spiritual help for families who have chosen to stand for life by adopting or fostering.
You can also become a spiritual mentor for teens and young women in your church or community. Talk to them about issues of life. Ask them pointed questions about how they are handling their sexuality. Point them toward truth. Be someone they can turn to for answers in a crisis situation.
These ideas are merely a starting point. If you make yourself available to become a voice for the voiceless, God will guide you in what specific steps to take. He cares more about these precious lives than we ever could. And His eyes are searching to and fro throughout the earth, looking for someone to care as He does. Are you willing to take on His burden?