Yesterday, we tackled the very difficult subject of abortion. We wanted to not only address the practice of abortion as evil but to highlight the value and sanctity of life as people, whether born or unborn, made in the image of God. When we hear a sermon like the one yesterday, we often come away feeling helpless, wondering what we can actually do to seek the good of our unborn and born neighbors and their families. In light of this, we wanted to offer a few ways that you can practically seek justice and show mercy.
Volunteer at a Pregnancy Center
One of the most powerful ways to impact this issue is to work with a pregnancy center focused on providing care and resources for expectant families. There are numerous pregnancy centers that advocate for life versus institutions such as Planned Parenthood that provide abortive services. One such center in Birmingham is Sav-a-Life. We have a relationship with the center in Vestavia where they not only provide pre-natal services, but also counsel and care after the child is born. Sav-a-Life offers free ultrasounds, baby showers for mothers, and an incredible fatherhood initiative to help new and expectant dads learn to embrace and enjoy fatherhood.
Adoption or Foster Care
When a young, scared mother who is uncertain of how she will provide a future for a child learns that her child could end up in a loving, caring home, it increases the chances that she carries the child to term. Adoption is a vivid picture of the Gospel: it invites an orphaned, vulnerable child into a family. Foster care, like adoption, is an incredible example of God's love, welcoming someone into a "family" who is by all means a stranger. Many in our own body work for Lifeline Children's Services, an organization aimed at helping to educate, train, facilitate, and prepare prospective couples for adoption or foster care.
Though some of you may not feel able to adopt or foster at this point, there are other ways that you can help. One such option is to provide respite care for an adoptive family. Often, due to the need for a stable environment for adopted children, couples are not able to get away on a vacation. Respite care allows for a couple to leave their foster child in the hands of a safe, loving family for a weekend to get away and rest or attend to a need.
Befriend People in Desperate Places
Fighting for the rights of the unborn means jumping into people's lives and being a friend. This means getting our hands dirty in messy situations. While it's easy to post videos on social media decrying abortion, we have to ready and willing to invite a young mother into our lives and walk through her pregnancy AND the difficulties of motherhood with her. Will we meet broken people where they are with the good news that God did not spare His own Son, therefore, we can trust Him with our children?
Be willing to throw baby showers. Be a surrogate grandparent. Facilitate birthday parties. Be family to those who have none. This is where we can take up a James 1:27 type of love for our neighbors. This is where the church can be the church.
If you would like to volunteer in one of these ways, want more information, or just have questions, don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to be a facilitator and help you fight for the justice and mercy for the unborn.