Last year, I received a prayer request from a well-known lady in ministry who speaks and sings to bring others to Christ and to help those who already know Him move farther along in their walk. Her son’s unborn child was in trouble and doctor’s could not find a heartbeat. There were to be more tests run but in the meantime, this lady of God did the only thing she could do … she reached out to her family in Christ for prayer support.
Fast forward two days and the next prayer request and update came. There had been a miscarriage and the baby, who had never had a chance to see this side of the womb, was resting safely in the arms of Jesus. Again, she reached out to her family in Christ for prayer support as this was a very difficult time for the entire family.
The prayers came on both occasions. Her Facebook wall was full of them and it did my heart good to see our family (the body of Christ) coming together for one of us who was in need.
When the rest of the story came out over the next few hours, the bottom, as they say, fell out. You see, there were never any problems with the baby’s heartbeat, much less a miscarriage. The young woman who was carrying the child had decided that she did not want a baby for whatever reason. Rather than discuss it with the father, the family or even friends, she created imaginary medical problems and fantasy ER visits that ultimately led to a “miscarriage” that would cover up the abortion she had scheduled.
My sister in ministry was devastated, as was her son (the father) and the rest of her family. Talking to the young woman did no good. Reasoning with her led nowhere. The father offered to raise the baby on his own if she would only carry it to term rather than terminating it’s little life. Her response was to leave him. The family was left with 48 short hours to pray for a miracle – for God to change a heart so a life would not be lost.
Once again, the only thing that she knew to do was pray and ask those she considered to be friends and partners in ministry to pray. A final prayer request was sent out explaining what was really happening and asking us all to pray for the young woman by name and for the unborn child.
This time the response was much different. This time there weren’t many notes from people agreeing to stand with her in prayer. Oh no – this time there were attacks! She was accused of “destroying” her own ministry, of being too close to the situation to make rational decisions, and of not being sensitive to the mother’s “right to privacy.” (As though a right to keep a lie going is more important than the right to LIVE.) The girl’s sister said she had given up and publicly thanked her for exposing the lie and said that she hoped the exposure would make it harder for her to kill her unborn child but that didn’t stop the detractors or the attacks. Oh no – there was blood in the water and the sharks were coming in for their pound of flesh. Some even went as far as to attack the sister for giving up, because that wasn’t the “Christian thing to do.”
As I read, I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to vomit! This lady was facing the death of her first grandchild before it was even born and instead of getting on their knees with her to pray, many of those brothers and sisters in Christ were keeping themselves busy kicking her while she was down.
Transparent — that is what she was being. Transparent and vulnerable and above all, REAL. She wasn’t hiding behind a veil of secrecy because her life was messy. She wasn’t worried that people would question her calling, her faith or her judgment. In her desire for prayer help, she committed what is apparently an unforgivable sin in the eyes of some members of the body … she reminded them that she is a real person who has problems just like the rest of the world! Too often, members of the body of Christ convince themselves that anyone in ministry leads a totally charmed life and are spared from the upheavals that the rest of the world faces. In other words, they believe that if you accept the call, suddenly God puts you on the “off limits” list for Satan. To admit you are facing something huge and ugly and messy blows that perfect image to pieces and that is just not acceptable.
“So what happened?” you ask. Well, while all of those good Christians were taking target practice on her ribs, her grandbaby was aborted. As she tried to heal from that, more pot shots came from the distance – emails that were rude, abusive and hurtful. It got so bad that she made the painful decision to shut down a part of her ministry that was set up to help the very people who were trying to destroy her!
To say that I am livid is a gross understatement. To say that I am thoroughly disgusted doesn’t even begin to cover it. This is the best that the body of Christ has to offer? This is what some consider to be loving their neighbor? Behavior like what this lady of God endured is exactly why so many people don’t like to call themselves “Christian” anymore, opting instead for “spiritual” or something equally generic.
Most of all, it breaks my heart. A child died before even having a chance at life. A young woman will forever have to live with the fact that she caused that death. A young man never got to hold his baby because a woman’s right to choose trumped his right to care. Grandparents and other family members lost a family member they were looking forward to meeting. A woman who has devoted her adult life to helping others know Christ was scorned, mocked and abused. And last, but not least, we – the body of Christ – lost out on many fronts. We threw away a chance to help a family in need because we were too busy pummeling her to pray with her. We trampled on an opportunity to show the love of Christ to someone who desperately needed it. We saw a truth and rather than embracing it (and the person delivering it), we threw rocks at it to make it go away.
So I just have to ask … If we are the body, what were we thinking that day?