I had something else in mind for today, but read a blog on abortion that really started me thinking. I have to say, I am definitely pro-life, though when I was very young, my sympathies for a time were with the stories of desperation. Long view though, even in a bad situation, it seems like if those involved would be willing to consider adoption, then a pregnancy would be only a short blip in a life trajectory. Many adoptive couples wait years for a child. Giving them one could be a win-win approach for the underaged.
That said, my thoughts were on how abortion can have effects much beyond anything physical. Only one time, I heard this story about one of those skeletons in the family closet, if you will. I’m afraid I have lost some of the details, but what I can remember is bad enough. Abortion was sometimes practiced years ago, even though it was illegal. If you go back far enough to when there were few forms of contraception, sometimes it was used in lieu of preventing pregnancy, for family planning purposes in a sense.
What I was told was that at some point when my mother was growing up, after having 4 children, my grandmother got pregnant again. This would have been either in the 1920s, or a surprise later child in the 30s which might have made my grandfather’s reaction more understandable. In any event, he was not at all happy at the prospect of becoming a father again and felt they could not afford another child. To put this in perspective though, even during the depression, when he became self employed, my grandfather always had work, they never lost their house or went without food, as so many people did.
At any rate, his solution was to bring in an abortionist, or perhaps it was simply something done quietly in the process of a house call by a doctor. And that was that, from his perspective, I suppose. The problem is, he brought death into the house and the family. There was the physical death of the baby of course. But much more long lasting was the relational death that came with it and lasted for perhaps 30 years, until both he and his wife were gone. Yes they were still married, at least in name, but everything he had hoped to preserve changed. She kicked him out of the bedroom and apparently transferred her attention to the youngest son in a somewhat unhealthy attachment for an extended period of time. I guess he came out okay, in the long run, but the way my mom described it, it sure didn’t seem healthy.
I started wondering whether, if my grandfather had foreseen any part of how that act would alter the family and especially his marriage, if he might have changed his mind and I would have had another aunt or uncle and perhaps descendants. But beyond that, I wonder if he really thought through his options, beyond not seeing quite how the family budget would balance out in the short term. I don’t know whether they had much faith at all, though my mother did report attending church as a child at least some of the time. What I see is that he really said no to God and paid a stiff price for it.
I can understand that money was tight, and reportedly this was always an issue with my grandfather. But in this situation, I think God was offering Himself, saying don’t look at the money you have, look at me. I create life and I will provide, if only you will trust me instead of your own ability to provide. Turn that worry over to me and see if I don’t bless you. God wanted to build his faith, but he said no and destroyed his own happiness. God let him experience the natural consequences of his lack of faith. The result was the death of what he was trying to hold onto.
Now I can’t speak to any particular situation beyond that. But spiritually speaking, if you invite death into your family, you should expect to have some lasting implications. Choose life and be willing to trust God when he asks you for something.