All God's Children


Every year, an ironic thing happens during the third week of January.  During this third week of January, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday immediately precedes Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The day dedicated to the Right to Life Movement that was formed in response to Roe vs. Wade falls one day before the day dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement that was formed in response to countless similarly unjust rulings.  And every year, these first two days of the third week of January pack an emotional punch.Because even as we are celebrating the self-evident truth that all men are created equal; even as we continue to dream the dream that one day “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and little white girls as sisters and brothers;” we also mourn the fact that many of those little children never even had the chance to live. And to make it all the more poignant, this year, these two days—Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day—happened in coordination with the inauguration of the first black President… who just also happens to be staunchly pro-abortion.

It’s been a very confusing week.

And like many of you, I find myself trying to parent through it all. Because as much as I’d like, I cannot shield my children from the world they live in. Within a matter of day, they have been confronted with our history of slavery; they’ve learned about the racism that up until fifty years ago was institutionalized in our governments, schools, and churches; and they’ve heard about a society that allows women to kill their unborn children. (And just to round things out, we also had a conversation about the restaurant Hooters this week too.)

This past Sunday as we celebrated the sanctity of human life, I finally began to fit the pieces together. Our history of racism, our present struggle against abortion. And I began to wonder if it wasn’t time that we needed to recognize that we created this. As much as we like to believe that abortion is simply the fallout of the sexual revolution, as much as we like to blame radical feminists, it’s not that simple. Because when--for over two hundred years--we chose to see minorities as less than human, we created a culture that would one day allow us to view our own children the same way. When we refused to see the image of God in our African-American brothers and sisters, we lost the ability to see the image of God in our unborn sons and daughters.

We have sown the wind and we are now reaping the whirlwind.

When we speak about the sanctity of human life, we must remember that we are not simply speaking about abortion. We are not simply speaking about euthanasia. Honoring the sanctity of human life means embracing God’s image bearers where ever they may be and whatever they may look like. True sanctity of human life means understanding that all human life--every man, every woman, every boy, every girl—is precious to God and should also be precious to us.

So that when we take a stand for the sanctity of human life, we are also taking a stand against all racism, all sexism, all elitism, all sectarianism—any ideology, any prejudice that would say that another human being is somehow inferior or somehow unworthy of our love, somehow unworthy of Christ’s love. When we celebrate the sanctity of human life, we are saying that because of Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female." There is no born or unborn.

The work of fighting abortion doesn’t begin with legislation. It doesn’t begin with marches or protests, and it doesn’t even begin with crisis pregnancy centers. The fight to sanctify human life begins in our own hearts; it begins as we root out the vestiges of pride and hatred and selfishness. It begins as we accept the fact that young minority women (who are disproportionately affected by abortion) will be hesitant to trust us when we offer them alternatives to abortion because for the last two centuries we have judged them simply by the color of their skin. It begins when we recognize that our own daughters chose abortion because they didn’t believe they could come to us without feeling this same weight of judgment.

The fight to end abortion must begin with grace. The grace to believe that all of us are made in God’s likeness. The grace to believe that none of us have any righteousness apart from Him. And the grace to believe that no matter what we have done—whether our sin is racism or promiscuity—that the power of Christ is great enough and the love of Christ is strong enough to reconcile each of us to Himself and to each other.