She almost spoke the words in a whisper as she sat in her lawn chair, safely distanced for our community fireworks event. Head down, she fiddled with her napkin, obviously full of frustration.
I asked, “What do you think Jesus should have said about abortion?”
“I don’t know, but I wish He’d have said something. My sister’s getting an abortion, and I’m so mad at her. I tried to get her not to and to talk to Mom and Daddy so they could help her. But she said Jesus left it up to her, and she’s too young to be a mother.” Libby threw her head back in exasperation as if she’d been sparring with the idea and lost.
“I’m sad, too, because this is heartbreaking for you. You must feel stuck with your sister’s secret—stuck between a rock and a hard place.” I wanted her to feel understood, even as I searched my mind for God’s way and Word to guide her through her unimaginable wilderness of opinions.
Libby grimly nodded her head, her chin trembling as a tear stole down her cheek. She was only thirteen and carrying this load.
“Libby, may I pray with you for your sister? And I want to ask God to help us with answers, for His Words to come to us and light up your path.” With that, I bowed and softly pleaded with God for wisdom and guidance and loving ways to carry Libby and her sister through the difficult coming days.
“Thank you, Nannygranne. But I still don’t know what to do. Most people say it’s not really a person, yet … just a growth that they’d remove. But others point out it has a heartbeat already and even has its own separate DNA. To me, it’s a baby. It’s my niece or nephew, and I don’t want that baby to die!” Her tears flowed fresh as she held her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking in silent sobs.
“Come walk with me and let’s think of what Jesus might have said if He had said anything about abortion.” I rose from my chair and reached out my hand. “I remember several things Jesus said about children. Do you remember Jesus saying, ‘Let the little children come to me …’?”
“… for of such is the kingdom of heaven, “1 Libby finished. “I’ve been thinking of that one. But He wasn’t talking about abortion.”
“True, but that verse does speak about Jesus’ view of children.” We continued to stroll; my thoughts began to form. Finally, I said, “And David wrote that we are knit together in our mother’s womb and God knows what we’ll become. 2 In fact, Jeremiah, David, the Apostle Paul, John the Baptist, and Jesus all say God was already dealing with them before they were born.3 Based on those facts, how do you think God feels about unborn children?”
“He knows them and thinks they are important,” Libby responded, giving the impression she felt she was being tested and hoping she answered well.
“I think so, too. But you know, Libby, what sticks in my mind is what you said about a baby: that, as soon as it becomes a cell, it has its own DNA, separate from either of his parents. Then I think of the fact that every human is made in God’s image. God made that decision from the start of humanity.” 4
Libby was quiet as we walked.
“Why did God tell us that, I wonder?”
Libby took a few more steps, then looked at me. “Maybe He wanted us to feel important?”
“Important because …?”
“Because a piece of Him is in all of us.” Libby spoke as if she’d thought it for the first time. “Every life belongs to God! My sister’s baby belongs to God, not her!”
“Could it be that is the reason murder is wrong? Not just because it’s some rule, but because every human bears God’s resemblance and belongs to Him. Most of us do not murder someone if they get in our way or give us a disease or even threaten our lives. Rather we let the law deal with those things.”
I hoped Libby saw the point. “So since God made us in His image, and Jesus thinks we’re valuable, and we have a future He knows about even before we are born, then stopping that life would NOT be what Jesus would do. He didn’t have to tell us not to have an abortion. It is obvious that it’s something Jesus wouldn’t want.”
I continued, “God gave us His message not to just give us a ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ list. He wants us to know Him and understand how much He loves us. He shows us the way to live well now and also live with Him for eternity.5 He didn’t say ‘Don’t do drugs,’ or ‘Don’t cheat on tests,’ or ‘Don’t be a bully’ or ‘Just Say No.’ But He didn’t have to. He wants us to be like Him. And He wants what’s best for us.”
I finished, “So, what do you think Jesus would say to your sister?”
Libby nodded as if coming to a decision. “Jesus would say He loves my sister and wants to help her and her baby. He would say He loves that baby already and has a future in mind for him, or her.”
“And what do you think Jesus would say to you as her sister?”
Libby stopped and looked at me, then said, “I need to talk to her again and tell her I love her. Then I’ll try to get her to talk to Daddy and Mama. I’ll go with her. I want her to know her family has her back.”
There was still one more thing that needed to be said. “Anything else, Libby?” I asked.
Libby shook her head, waiting for me to answer my own question.
“I think Jesus would also tell your sister to do the right thing and stop having sex until she’s married. That’s Jesus’ gift to her: a much more beautiful life.”6
“I will, Nannygranne. Thank you soooo much! Oh, and could you text me those Bible verses so I can show them to her?”
“Of course, I will. And I’ll be praying that God will open hearts. I’ll look forward to hearing how it turns out. Hey, it’s getting dark! Are you ready to head back?”
“Sure! I’ll go get us some sparklers! Is that okay?”
The girl took off in a jog, her load now lifted.
God had shown up for me—for us.
1 Luke 18:16
2 Psalm 139:13-16
- Jeremiah 1:5; Job 10:8-12; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Acts 17:25; Galatians 1:15; Luke 1:15; and Matthew 1:20
4 Genesis 1:27
5 Luke 14:26-27; Matthew 7:21; John 10:10
6 Matthew 19:10; John 8:11; Hebrews 13:4