When a potential decision on abortion law in the country was leaked, one of the criticisms that came out was this one: "Of course Christians love the unborn; the unborn are easy to love." And closely related to that, "The unborn are convenient to love."
The argument was that the unborn make no demands of those loving them. The unborn aren't going to let you down. They aren't going to reject you. They aren't going to demand more of you. They aren't complicated like the born are. So if you want to be a Christian and say that you love human beings, the unborn are a really easy group to love; they just aren't messy like "real" persons are. And then, hey, you can say that you're doing what Jesus asked you and loving others.
This is a really weird argument that the world is trying to make. I mean, wouldn't you think that if the unborn are so easy and convenient to love, even the world would love them? Wouldn't this be the place where the world itself tries to stake a claim on being loving, if it's so easy and convenient?
And yet, the very culture that is trying to shame you because it claims the unborn are so easy and convenient to love...is doing so while trying to convince you that you should be okay with killing the unborn because of their inconvenience.
It doesn't make a lot of sense.
The truth is, and the world knows this, the unborn are not an easy and convenient group to love. They aren't. In order to love the unborn, you have to hold onto things like hope. And confident assurance. And a sense of the dignity of life. You have to be able to hold in tensions a thousand unknowns about every unborn life with the truth of the things that you do know - that God knit together that life, that God has a plan for it, that it has inherent dignity as a being created in God's image...even when you don't know what that life will go on to do in the world, who that unborn child will go on to be. You may right now be fighting for someone that, if you met him thirty years later, you wouldn't be comfortable walking in the doors of your church (sadly - and this should be a good lesson in grace for all of us). But it's true - you could be fighting right now for a drug addict, a rapist, a murdered, a child abuser. You don't know.
All you have is a moral ethic that subscribes to the dignity of all life, a confident assurance that God has knit this life together in the womb, and a hope that this life becomes all of the things that God has ordained for it to be.
At the same time, we wrestle with knowing that all life is sacred, but not welcome. And potentially not provided for. When you love the unborn, you accept and embrace all of the struggles and problems that that life is going to encounter, whether that be being given up for adoption or needing a refuge or becoming hungry or thirsty. You acknowledge that this life can't make it on its own, and you have to start preparing for what the unborn might need from you - from us - as it enters into this world.
That's another one of the world's criticisms, by the way - that Christians only care about this life being born; they don't care what happens to it afterward. And it's a fair criticism. If we are going to be pro-life, then we have to be truly pro-life. All of it. From unborn to the grave, from the first breath to the last. Loving the unborn means having a plan and a commitment to care for them beyond the birth canal.
That's not easy nor convenient. Again, that's why the world doesn't do it.
But that leads us into our next criticism/conversation point that has been coming up in the past week: what exactly does it mean to care for the unborn?
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