Written by Kallie Kohl
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16, NIV)
Hello, and welcome to my rant. I have probably made some illogical arguments and anecdotal fallacies. I hope you enjoy finding them, but meanwhile, please reflect on what you (you being a pro-lifer) are doing for the cause.
I am not pointing fingers. I am not angry at you. I am angry at this situation. Just in the last three years, I have met, lived with, talked with, “peer-counseled”, been best friends with, and loved more than a hundred post-abortive women, pregnant women, and single moms of every age in Spokane, Washington and Moscow, Idaho. In the last few weeks since the Planned Parenthood scandals, I have not said anything. But now, I am angry. I am disgusted by what Planned Parenthood is doing. But even further than that, I am disgusted by our lack of involvement. We have conveniently turned the issue of abortion and unplanned pregnancy into a “We” versus “Them” debate. No, we are not aborting children, but we are no better than those who do if we stand complacently to the side while we are surrounded by LIVING, suffering human beings and their many, many children. WE are part of the problem.
I am fascinated by certain comments I read from people. One comment I read: “Well, if they murdered their own baby then they don’t deserve to be your Facebook friend.” Aww, that’s just lovely. Let’s shame all the post-abortive women in our self-righteous quest to prove that abortion is a sin that WE would never do, and let’s cut ourselves off from the contamination of the world. I have news for you: your sins are no better than hers. Another: “I wish I could take all the unwanted babies home with me”, a classic. It sickens me to read the myriad of comments and statements. “Every baby is wanted, special, unique!” we proudly say. “Just look at our children! They are so loved, and they are no better than all those aborted children! Every child deserves this love! Why would anyone even think of doing aborting them?” Pro-lifers and Christians, or whatever you call yourselves, it is time to stop using the argument, “Every baby is wanted”. Our actions speak much louder than our words. Show me that they are wanted…
According to the CCAI (2011), in the United States there are almost 400,000 children living without permanent families in the foster care system. (There are approximately 10,000 foster kids in WA. The numbers became very real to me when I lived in a maternity home for 8 months and then became a relief houseparent for 7 months. At least 7 out of 17 pregnant residents had never had a permanent home, were homeless, or lived in the foster system their whole lives. Many of them have gone on to have their second and third child, and/or get one or more of their children taken away by CPS).We don’t even treat the babies born among us like they are wanted and desired, so how can we use this as an argument? We stay in our safe, Christian communities, enjoying our like-minded friends, going to church on Sunday, not swearing or smoking or getting tattoos, and donating to our favorite charity.
But THIS is what God says about religion: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27, NIV) Perhaps we think we excel at being unpolluted by the world when we stay in our safe little yuppie communities. But to me, that verse actually means that being “pure” is getting your hands dirty. Have you ever walked by that one person, or maybe that entire group of people, at work, or church, or school? That woman who comes through the checkout line and always wants to talk? You keep your head down and shift your eyes away. Maybe they’ll leave me alone this time. Perhaps they have body odor or rotting teeth. Perhaps they never stop talking. Perhaps you disagree with their “lifestyle choices”. Perhaps you just can’t stand them. I believe Jesus calls us to hang out with “people like that”. I believe that we are no better than “people like that”.. in fact we are worse than them. Those people that get under our skin. Those people that you don’t want to hang around in case their swearing rubs off on you or people might associate you with them. That girl who you think dresses like a hooker. That single mom and her kids whose kids are always dirty and you think act like brats? Jesus came for the broken, weak, and sick, not the healthy. “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:15-16, NIV)”
I grew up in a sheltered Christian community. From a very early age I read updates from our local pregnancy care center in our church bulletin. I brought my friend who became pregnant as a teenager there so she could be loved and supported and figure out what to do. I never dreamed I would be using their services, but one day, there I was. I’m truly blessed. So many of my friends were coldly given their news in a medical office. No one held their hand or gave them their other options. They did the best they could with the information they were given. Some chose to have their babies, and some didn’t. All of them were without support from very significant people in their life.
Many of you have heard my story, but please hear some of it again and understand how UNUSUAL it is. If you don’t read anything else, please read these carefully:
Someone told me I deserved to get raped. Someone told me I dressed like a hooker.**
Someone told me I was guilty of fornication. Someone told me “Do whatever you want with [your] pregnancy, and I’ll support it.”
Someone told me that since I verbally “repented” of my fornication, they “had my back”.
Someone told me, “If you’re just going to put it in daycare for their rest of its life, why don’t you give it up for adoption.”
Someone comforted me when I found out the results.
Someone didn’t judge me.
Someone showed me an ultrasound picture of a beating heart, for free.
Someone typed in the words “so tiny, so cute” on
the ultrasound picture when I had the courage to say that out loud.
Someone asked me if I wanted a thorough education on
single parenthood, marriage, abortion, and adoption.
Someone told disbelieving me that not only was my baby wanted,
but I was wanted, regardless of my past and future decisions.
Someone told me again how valuable I was and
that God had a plan for my life.
Someone told me He DID love me for more than my performance.
Some people had made a place for me IN THEIR OWN HOME,
specifically pregnant me, to live, recover, and flourish.
Some people had made many places for me, specifically
single mom me, to continue flourishing IN THEIR OWN HOMES,
surrounded by their own children, a member of their
OWN family until I was ready to fly.
Some people still loved me even while I quoted the Bible out
of one side of my mouth
and lied three hundred times with the other side.
Some people drove me to job interviews, the welfare office,
the courthouse, the doctor.
Some people touched my belly like it was a gift, not a product
of “premarital intercourse.”
Some dads felt uncomfortable and scared at first,
but treated my daughter like their own.
Some moms let me sob on their shoulders and
drove me wherever I needed to go.
Some people bought me so many things, I didn’t spend a penny
on diapers, clothes, or food the
entire first year of my daughter’s life.
Some people gave me a break from holding a child that demanded
everything I had to give and more.
Some people did it for free.
Some people sent money, gave cars, made things.
Some people just came over and sat there with me.
Some people dedicated their life to reminding
me how full of worth I still was.
It was then that I was able to put one foot in front of the other, and begin to live.
Someone. Some people. Please, choose which someone you are going to be.
Words are not enough.
You are enough.
** I just wanted to clarify that my daughter was not a result of rape. These comments were said to me BEFORE I was even sexually active. My goal was to show the difference between helpful comments made in love and unhelpful, hurtful, judgmental ones. Unloving, condemning of perceived behavior never helps the real heart issue behind the behavior. The quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” (Maya Angelou) goes both ways…
About the Author
This article was originally published on the author’s site, Joy in the Morning and it has been re-published on Mere Breath with written consent.