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The Baby Instinct

September 18, 2009

Yesterday I was reminded that I am on the winning side: the pro-life side.

I work in professional environment, so the site of an infant is rare to say the least. (In fact, there is a rule posted at the entrance of the shopping center stating: “strollers and children under 12 not permitted”) Well, sometimes those pesky critters make it through security and find their way into our showroom.

The women I work with have developed a highly sensitive “baby-dar” ready to detect one of the aforementioned sub-12-year-olds at the slightest hint of a coo, creak of a stroller, or sideways glimpse of a BabyBjorn. When this happens, all (heck) breaks loose. “Did I hear a baby??” one of the women will ask, while my other coworker is already half way across the room in order to greet the little bundle of joy and the proud parent.

This scene was repeated at my work yesterday. I observed as three grown women (myself included) and one man, all with diverse backgrounds, political affiliations, beliefs, and values, left what they were doing and gathered around to marvel at the 10-week-old baby boy who one of our clients had brought along on an errand. The dialogue quickly digressed to “look at you!…aren’t you cute!…there’s a big smile!…who’s the cute little guy?….” I don’t know what my co-workers views on abortion are, but for those 10 minutes, we were all solidly pro-life.

It was then that I was reminded that being pro-life was never meant to be controversial, anymore than being anti-cancer is controversial. When we speak out for lives of the unborn, we are not fighting against some law of nature, we are simply reminding people of what they already know in their hearts: life is sacred.

This is not to say that we are by nature good: to the contrary, it is the selfishness and deceit in our humanity that has allowed a place for abortion in our lives and in our culture. But in spite our fallen nature, the truth is still written in our hearts and in all of nature:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

Suppressing the truth found in nature is difficult work, and it is the only way that the culture of death can temporarily survive. Everyday our thinking is shaped by subtle deception:

That quality of life determines value of life

That pregnancy begins at implantation, instead of fertilization

That pro-life principles are not to be discussed in polite company

That abortion is merely a political issue

That praying to end abortion is obnoxious, while allowing it to continue is reasonable.

That destroying and preventing new life is a form of “reproductive” health care.

That the battle has been lost, and we should give up.

Yesterday I was shown one more reason why the battle is not lost. Sure, there are a few who have been so seared in conscience that they can look with indifference at the 1 in 4 infants who are aborted in our community. However, I would guess that most people can live with this reality only because they have been deceived, or because they feel defeated.

But by God’s grace, we still have the truth written on our hearts: we know a baby when we see one. A mother and father’s instinct is still to rejoice at new life and to give special protection to fragile life. For this reason, I ought to speak confidently about the gospel of life.

And yet I too have been deceived: I’ve believed that I am on the losing side, that I am an extremist, that I should keep my mouth shut, that there is no hope. I pray that instead I will return to the call of the Lord, to open my “mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die.” (Proverbs 31:8)

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