Today has been an exciting day on the Internet. Thanks in huge part to Lutheran journalist Mollie Hemingway, the media is starting to approach the story of the Kermit Gosnell mass murder trial. Gosnell is an abortionist in Philadelphia. His clinic was raided when there was suspicion about prescription fraud. What the authorities found instead was blood, urine, fetal body parts everywhere. Unqualified workers tell of multitudes of babies aborted after the age of 24 weeks, often born alive, crying, screaming, including a 30 week, and then the doctor or other workers would cut the spinal cord, causing the death of these babies. He would save feet and heads in jars. He didn't sterilize his instruments, spreading STDs to other patients. He would drug minority patients, but for his own protection, give white women informed consent.
So, since the media has not covered this, my friends and I have tried to help in our own little way by posting the stories that do come out over and over again. We've also been praying. Kermit Gosnell is a monster of epic proportions, but the difference between him and other abortionists is really a difference in degree, not kind. Gosnell was messy. So many babies have been aborted and survived, only to be left to die or killed in order to protect the ones who wanted the procedure and to protect those who performed it, and failed.
But truly, what now? One pastor says not to be surprised, "but weep and pray that the Lord will come soon, and repent lest we likewise perish."
But there is more. Luther insists that God does not want us only huddled in prayer, hidden from the world. God put us in the world to show the world the love that He has for it. There are so many who have devoted their lives to serving those who would be targets of abortion -- the poor, single women, the developmentally disabled, the lonely, the young, the neglected and abused, those in 3rd World nations and our own; but so much more are needed. Persecuted Christians in ancient Rome still had the compassion to rescue babies who had been left on hills to die and raise them as their own. This kind of compassion and devotion, in many ways is still needed.
There are many ways to show God's love to those who are considered worthless in this world and who would be targeted by those who think abortion is a big part of the answer. Standing outside a clinic with signs or volunteering at a crisis pregnancy clinic are not the only ways. We serve God through our vocations, but sometimes we define vocation too narrowly -- because as Christians, we are called to love. As citizens, we are called to serve our neighbor and to use our rights to speak out against evil. Some vocations also can be chosen.
I have worked in social work/human services in one way or another since I was in college. It is shocking how many men have chosen not to serve in this field. Social work, counseling, and many other helping fields are noticably absent, both in the private sphere and in the public, Christians men and women can serve in these fields to keep the focus on love and humanity, rather than turning it over to those who do believe that in some way, the very people that they serve, should never have existed and the existence of more should be prevented.
Other gifts and talents that God has given us can be channeled into ways that help the unfortunate, rather than be focused primarily on prosperity. I'm not accusing here. I'm just saying that maybe we need to be more creative into turning our gifts into a way to serve others (not for the sake of our own salvation, but to serve our neighbor), even as Mollie did today, using her position as a journalist, to call other journalists to accountability regarding this case, as she has done in some other situations as well.
These are an accounting of the thoughts that are going through my head. I certainly am not passing judgement. I can't without looking in the mirror and seeing where I hide from showing love to my neighbor completely openly.
Christians saw the atrocity that was slavery and the atrocity that was Nazism and we hid people in our houses, we showed mercy to the victims, we fought in the legislatres, we debated in the streets, and eventually, we gave our blood and the blood of those we loved to fight evil and bring justice and mercy. And we prayed. We definitely prayed.
So what should we do now?