This week, the #shoutyourabortion movement started. I first saw it when a friend posted the Buzzfeed article on Facebook, and then I searched the Twitter hashtag. As I read through the tweets, I got madder than I’ve ever been over something like this. There was something inside me that was immediately and intensely enflamed at the thought that people could kill their babies—and then brag about it.
If you don’t know, the purpose of this movement is to erase the “stigma” of having an abortion. Oh, how our culture is so incredibly selfish. I sat here and wondered if I should even post the tweets, even glorify them with another publication. But I think I would take away some of the effect if I didn’t, so here are the three that hit me hardest:
“I’ve had 2 abortions. I don’t have to justify or explain them to anybody. My life is more valuable than a potential life. #shoutyourabortion”
“My abortion was in ’07. I didn’t want kids then and still don’t. I’m managing my own wellness. #ShoutYourAbortion”
“My abortion was in ’10 & the career I’ve built since then fulfills me & makes me better able to care for kids I have now. #ShoutYourAbortion”
As I dwelled on this, I started praying, “God, just bring your judgment on this country.” I didn’t care what it entailed in that moment, and I didn’t care how it affected me; I was just so angry and I wanted justice for the injustice of it all.
But you know what God did? He didn’t hop on my bandwagon. He didn’t say, “I’ve been waiting for you to say that, Carolyn! Watch this!” and no news stories popped up with Revelation-times tragedy striking. I didn’t see a mass change in my Twitter feed.
No, God reminded me of Jonah.
Jonah’s the one who got swallowed up by a whale and spit out three days later. Why? Because God told Jonah to go to Ninevah (a really wicked city) to tell them to repent or God was going to destroy them. Jonah was God’s last-ditch effort to bring the people to Him. And Jonah chose to run the other way. He got on a boat, and God sent a storm, and Jonah got thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale. And there in the belly, where Jonah had nowhere left to run, God got ahold of him. Not of Ninevah for their sin. God got ahold of Jonah for his: “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said, “In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me” (Jonah 2:1-2).
After they had their “come to Jesus” meeting in the whale, God told it to spit Jonah up on land, and then He told him again to go to Ninevah. And the Bible says that Jonah went through Ninevah proclaiming God’s Word, and “the Ninevites believed in God.” It says, “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened” (Jonah 3:10). And was Jonah happy? Absolutely not. Because like me, Jonah wanted to see justice: “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry” (Jonah 4:1). In fact, Jonah told God, almost disdainfully, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:2-3). Jonah was mad that God didn’t follow through on His punishment. Jonah tried to outsmart God by making sure he fulfilled the punishment even though he knew God was willing to forgive even the most heinous sins. Jonah literally wanted to die rather than see the people saved. But God said, “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” (Jonah 4:11). God cared about Ninevah. He cared about the people because they didn’t know the gravity of their mistakes. God even cared about the animals of Ninevah.
Right now, America is the new Ninevah. But we can’t sit around and wait for God to bring justice so we can say, “I told you so.” Jesus told us to be a light to the world, not to sit on the judgment throne and smugly say we told them so. The judgment throne is His place, and when I stand before it, I don’t think I’m going to be looking back at other people comparing my sins to theirs. I don’t think I’m going to say, “Well at least I didn’t get an abortion” or “At least I never cheated in school” or “At least I’m not like her.” When we stand before a perfect God, none of that will matter because we will all be weighed on the scales of justice and found lacking. That’s not to say nobody’s sin is that bad since everyone’s flaws are equal. That’s to say everyone’s sin is so bad that we cannot even be in the presence of God. The good news is, Jesus the Son of God came to earth as a human, he lived a perfect life and he died an awful death. But on the third day, just like Jonah was brought from the whale to go preach redemption in Ninevah, Jesus was brought from the grave to bring salvation to all who believe.
So you know what I choose? Despite my sins and flaws that are just as tragic in the eyes of my Father as ending a baby’s life, I am saved by Jesus’ death and resurrection. He defeated my sins. He defeated the sins that people choose to shout from the rooftop.
Jesus came and died and rose again to save me. He came and died and rose again to save the man sitting in the prison cell for murder. He came and died and rose again to save the babies who die in their mothers’ wombs and the mothers who make that choice. Jesus died and rose again so that we can dare to stand in God’s presence for an eternity, if only we will choose to believe.
So today, I choose to #ShoutMyAdoption as a child of the one true God.