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Greater compassion for women in crisis

How God nudged one Christian to soften her heart ‘to precious, hurting mothers of the unborn.’

OKLAHOMA CITY — I’ve participated in pro-life work for over 15 years. That has created many opportunities to advocate for the preborn, something that is often politicized.

For me, the issue is black and white, so I have struggled to understand why Christians debate abortion.

Shouldn’t we unify to pursue justice for these tiny image bearers? Why are we dividing over something so clear? And if I am on the right side, what could I be missing?

Related: Could the U.S. Supreme Court soon overturn Roe v. Wade?

Little did I know that the Holy Spirit would nudge me toward a resource center called Crossroads Clinic, where I developed a deeper sense of compassion for women in crisis.

To understand our current culture, we need to reflect on history. God designed the family so the complementary roles of men and women would provide a safe, loving environment for raising children.

“Where humans fail, God redeems, and his provision for women and children in crisis is stamped deeply in Scripture.”

However, Adam and Eve’s sin fragmented their relationship with God and each other, leaving women and children especially vulnerable to neglect and abuse. But where humans fail, God redeems, and his provision for women and children in crisis is stamped deeply in Scripture.

Consider Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar. After she fled Abraham and Sarah’s abuse, an angel of the Lord found her in the desert. How terrified and dejected she must have felt, but at her lowest moment, God intervened, and he created a plan for her and her unborn child that has impact and significance to this day!

Genesis 16:13 shares Hagar’s response to her hero, God: “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”

While Abraham’s and Sarah’s actions told Hagar she was worthless, God’s actions told her she was priceless, modeling how we should minister to women in crisis. By establishing her identity in God, Hagar found hope for both her and her baby.

Luke 7:39-50 is another example of God’s passionate love for women in crisis. Jesus was dining with Simon the Pharisee when a sinful woman crashed the party and wept on his feet. Jesus immediately knew Simon’s thoughts: “If this man were a prophet, he would know … she is a sinner.”

Simon cared more about his public reputation than the woman’s private pain, but Jesus had a different plan. Jesus wrapped the woman in compassion and shifted the spotlight to Simon’s hardened heart. Verses 47 and 48 recount the Lord’s words: “‘Therefore I tell you, her many sins are forgiven — as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”

Related: Picket signs, honking horns and sidewalk sermons: Inside an anti-abortion ministry

In the midst of the dinner party participants, Jesus looked at her, spoke directly to her and confirmed her value in his eyes. Her broken heart was his concern, as was Simon’s hardness of heart.

As seen with Hagar and the sinful woman, God pursues women in crisis. To him, these women are not a gray issue. Our shouting over their actions doesn’t change their present suffering. In fact, they don’t even hear it. They just feel scared and alone.

For too long, we have relinquished our responsibility to them for the sake of an argument, and because of that, there are no winners. Babies are gone, women are still alone, and Satan is declaring another victory.

But where man falls short, God redeems, and there is hope for us despite our own pride!

As I come full circle, I realize the Holy Spirit has been working all along to soften my heart to the precious, hurting mothers of the unborn. I attend a Bible study at Crossroads Clinic, and my new friends have transformed my understanding of our most powerful, underutilized, culture-transforming weapon for change: prayer.

These prayer warriors are leading a spiritual revolution to minister, like Jesus did, to women in crisis. In prayer, they unite daily, asking for God’s presence during stories of trauma and sexually transmitted disease testing. In prayer, they call upon the Holy Spirit to comfort women and men who have experienced abortion. In prayer, they ask for God’s wisdom to share the Gospel with a scared teen during a pregnancy test. In prayer, they beg the Holy Spirit to intercede during the ultrasounds of women considering abortion.

“By using their voices for prayer instead of division, they have witnessed souls being saved and God setting women free from pain and suffering. No matter what side of this issue you are on, and even if you are straddling it, pray!”

By using their voices for prayer instead of division, they have witnessed souls being saved and God setting women free from pain and suffering. No matter what side of this issue you are on, and even if you are straddling it, pray!

Pray for the transformation of your own heart to serve women in crisis. Pray for church leaders to lift up these women in congregational prayer. Pray for the church to unify and surround these women with the compassion of Christ. Pray for the leaders of our country to protect, promote, and restore families.

Why? Because prayer restores not just their souls but ours as well. And through prayer, there is hope for all!

Psalms 139:23-24 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

AMANDA NOBLIN and her husband, Jerry, worship with the Wilshire Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. She works in the alumni and advancement office at Oklahoma Christian University.

Filed under: abortion Christian Women Crossroads Clinic Oklahoma City Opinion Perspective Top Stories Views Wilshire Church of Christ

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