“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Then Neither Do I Condemn You, Again

This was the original follow-up post to I Can't Remain Silent.  (I try to add the word "Again" at the end of the post titles that I am re-posting.) 
I just realized that the verse from Isaiah is my current memory verse.  Remember, I love you.

...bind up the brokenhearted,
...proclaim freedom for the captives
...comfort all who mourn,
...provide for those who grieve

...bestow on them a crown of beauty

instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness

instead of mourning,
...a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.

condensed from Isaiah 61:1-3

I didn't mean to make you cry. But some of you did.

For some of you... the previous post easily could have been your own story. You've been there. Your tears were for the mother and daughter I wrote about... but they were also for yourself.

And then... there are some of you... and this is where my heart breaks... that made a different decision. You had the abortion. And you haven't told anyone. Not even a soul. And sometimes it seems daily that you struggle with the decision you made. And you wonder how could God forgive you? Because you can't even forgive yourself.

And if anyone knew... especially in the church! Well, the scorn and the shame... it really would be too much to bear. And you keep your struggle to yourself. And you are barely getting by some days.

I want you to know that I pray for you. I think of how hard it must be for you. Especially sitting in church or Sunday School. Hearing people gasp at the thought of a Christian making a choice to have an abortion.

I know you are there. The statistics tell me. But it will never come up in conversation. And I understand that.

But after listening to the testimony of another woman at the Pregnancy Resource Center's fund-raiser, I knew I had to let you know... that you are on my heart.

The second testimony was a precious woman who spoke of her three abortions. And I have to admit the rest of her story slips my mind... because all I could think about was her. Being there. Sharing her story so that others might share in the abundant life she found through a Bible Study called HEART.

Whenever I hear women speak of HEART their eyes glisten with tears when they talk of it. And you know that their lives are not the same because of HEART and they are eternally grateful.

HEART provides safe and confidential post-abortion support groups for men and women -- offering hope, comfort and healing. If you live in the Greater Portland, Oregon area you can call 503-22HEART or visit their website. For any other area stop by this website to find a local Pregnancy Resource Center.

If you or someone you love is facing an unplanned pregnancy, I want you to know that the Pregnancy Resource Centers are compassionate and caring. They are truly a resource. I had the privilege of volunteering at our local Pregnancy Resource Center and I was touched by the love that enveloped each woman... no matter what her decision. No condemnation. No persuasion. Just love. God's love... Jesus... poured out through human vessels.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
John 8:3-5, 7, 9-11

Dear sisters, you are so precious to me. If it were not for Jesus, we would all have the imprints of stones on us. Death itself. But we don't have to live there.

There is hope. There is help. There is Jesus.

I love you.

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