Cradle My Heart Radio begins an ongoing series this week titled Steps to Healing
Recovering from the emotional and spiritual impact of abortion is not only possible, it’s exactly what God has in mind for you. And just as our choices led us to feel isolated and far from God after abortion, new and healthy choices can lead to new healthy emotions today.
I wish I had known this sooner, and my passion to see you free is the reason I’m here. Giving what I have freely received from God is a very healing exchange. What inspires redemptive giving is not the same thing as atoning for sin and it’s not driven by guilt. Nor is it regarded in the same way as charitable giving which is mandated to be done in private so as to preserve the dignity of the person in need (Matthew 6:3). Of course, it also differs from the tithe, or giving to the Lord’s work, which is a response to God’s abundant provision in our lives.
If you haven’t heard preaching about redemptive giving, you may be unfamiliar with the concept. We have a great example of Jesus endorsing it when Zaccheaus engaged in the practice as told in Luke 19: 1-10. Sometimes I’ve heard this preached as stewardship, but with respect to those preachers, I believe that what happened that day is something else, and something with a great practical application for those of us who have trangressed both God and people, as in the case of abortion.
I am so captivated by this event in our Christian family history, I wrote a whole chapter about it in Cradle My Heart searching out the facts about this unusual encounter with our Lord and a despised tax collector. What I learned may surprise you as much as it must have surprised those who witnessed Jesus inviting himself to the man’s house that day. People grumbled about that–perhaps wondering if Jesus really was Messiah (although by this time Jerusalem was poised to welcome him as King-see Luke 19:38). When Jesus aligned himself with Zaccheaus, the henchman of the Romans and betrayer of his own people–his Jewish kinsmen–it must have looked all wrong. Wasn’t Jesus supposed to liberate the Jews from the oppressors–not join them at their homes for dinner?
Of course, being with Jesus changed Zaccheaus and made this former extortionist a generous man. I’m so encouraged by that as a person who also appropriated what was not mine to take when I made the decision to end the life of my unborn child. The Bible tells us the chief tax collector was the worst of the worst in terms of the brutality meted out against his fellow Jews, and I know that I often felt beyond redemption due to the brutal and traumatic nature of the abortion experience. It was very hard to shirk the hardness of heart which had allowed me to deny the very humanity of my own unborn child–my own people. But Zaccheaus understood that by giving his fortune away, he was sealing publicly the transformation God had privately worked in his heart.
God through Jesus not only forgave him but also provided a way for him to be restored to fellowship in the community.
Abortion may have left you feeling disqualified from serving at your church, or trapped in an unhealthy need for secrecy and self-condemnation because you know in your heart of hearts the abortion choice was selfish at its core. If so, please join us Sunday as we watch God’s love in action and explore how healing and giving work together in the aftermath of even our very worst mistakes.