My ma met my biological father at a party. They partied. She got pregnant. When he found out, he got transferred 2,000 miles away (he was in the Army.)
Instead of standing in shame to give an account for another bad decision before her strict Baptist parents, she got in her car and drove from Denver to Boston. Under the pretense of staying with my Uncle Tommy and Aunt Carol, ma’s real plan was to have an illegal abortion. This took place years before Roe V. Wade would be put into law.
Thankfully, my uncle and aunt talked her out of it. And, at eight months pregnant, she came back to Denver and gave birth to me on August 20, 1965.
For years I wondered why ma would often burst out in tears when she looked at me. When I was twelve years old, my grandma sat me down and told me the whole story. Until the day she died my ma never knew that I knew that she almost aborted me.
Through a series of crazy, yet divinely orchestrated events, my tough, body-building, street-fighting family members became Christians. But not ma. Even when four of her five street thug brothers, my uncles, converted to Christ, she was a hold out.
She bore too much shame. She had too much sin.
Or so she thought.
I got saved at the age of eight and learned how to share the Gospel at the age of twelve or so. The first person on my heart was ma. I began to share Jesus with her and she would say things like, “You don’t know the things I’ve done wrong” (I did because my grandma had told me everything.)
For years I shared the Gospel with her and, finally, at the age of 15, I was privileged to lead her to Christ at my grandparents’ kitchen table.
But, in spite of her salvation, she still felt a lot of shame until the day she died, seventeen years ago. Now she stands before the Savior, guilt-free, shame-free and sin-free, because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross.
There are several reasons why I’m pro-life:
One reason is that, well, I’m glad to be here. Last year I sent out a Tweet that went viral. It read, “In 1965 my mom drove from Denver to Boston to have an illegal abortion. My uncle & aunt talked her out of it. She often cried when she looked at me, feeling shame for almost aborting me. At the age of 15, I was able to lead her to Christ. Grateful for that. Grateful to be alive.”
I am grateful to be alive. If she would have went through with aborting me, I would have never gotten married to my amazing wife, had two wonderful kids or been privileged to train millions of teenagers across America and around the world to share the Gospel.
I’m glad to be here, but that’s not the biggest reason I’m pro-life.
Another reason I’m pro-life is that I witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of shame on my ma when it came to almost aborting me. Night after night I could hear her bawling her eyes out through our paper thin apartment complex walls. Day after day I’d hear her say things like, “I don’t want you to become a bum like me.”
This is the shame my ma felt for almost aborting me, I can’t imagine the hurt that would have been in her heart if she had actually followed through.
Honestly, I hurt for those who have had abortions. Many must struggle with unimaginable grief, guilt, shame and pain. It hurts my heart to think about it. I long for them to know, like my ma knows now, the mercy and grace that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It hurts to think about the pain and shame so many women who have had abortions must be experiencing. But that’s not the biggest reason I’m pro-life.
The biggest reason I’m pro-life is that I believe in God, the Creator of life.
The great Apostle Paul wrote, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16,17
Every life was created by Jesus and for Jesus. Every life is a precious gift from God and for God.
King David put it this way in Psalm 139:13-15, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
Every baby is a masterpiece that God himself wove together in the womb of his/her mother. It is not within our rights to destroy the Artist’s masterpiece. It is not within our rights to take a precious life that God created.
To me this is not a political issue nearly as much as it is a moral issue. Ultimately, it’s not about a mother’s right to choose or a baby’s right to live. It’s about God’s right to create life. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. We dare not seek to stop his creative hand. We must see every life as a precious gift from him.
And, if you are reading this and have had an abortion or are seething mad because you are pro-abortion, just know this. Your life is precious too. It’s so precious that the Son of God invaded time and space to become the Son of Man, Jesus himself. He lived the perfect life you and I could never live. He died, as the perfect sacrifice, in your place and mine. He died for our sin and because of our sin. And now he offers you true life, everlasting life, if you simply trust in him to save you.
Jesus said these words in John 11:25, 26, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus is pro-life too, pro-eternal life. Trust in him now. Receive his gift of eternal life through faith. The moment you do, you will be both forgiven and given, forgiven for every sin, no matter how drastic that sin may be, and given life, hope, purpose and a new family of brothers and sisters in Christ.
I write all about this, and tons more, in my new book, Unlikely Fighter: The Story of a How Fatherless Street Kid Overcame Violence, Chaos and Confusion to Become a Radical Christ Follower. I encourage you to read it. This book will remind you of how precious every life is, both young and old. It will remind you that the Gospel changes everything.
It sure did for my ma.