One day I was lingering in my Facebook news feed and ran across an interesting post. It was from a newly pregnant woman who had been advised by her doctor to terminate her pregnancy due to serious health issues. She was posting on a “child loss” group page where scores of women who have lost a child due to still birth or miscarriage were finding hope and healing by sharing their stories.
This desperate plea tugged at my heart as I read how she felt guilty. She clearly wasn’t comfortable with making this decision. She didn’t know how to come to terms with having to end the life of the baby growing inside her. She was looking for an “answer”… a glimmer of hope. I think she was either looking for permission to do the impossible or was hoping that someone her the way to move on into the next stages of her pregnancy. I instantly prayed God would bring the supernatural down upon her knowing God could heal and protect both her and the baby.
What came next rocked me to my core. There were scads of comments – more than 80! And the majority of these comments were gut-wrenching attacks. I could visualize the lynch mob forming. I could just imagine the scores of women assembling with their weapons in tow… going to hunt this woman down and put a scarlet “A” on her. I began to weep as I thought about this young girl… wondering if she knew Jesus at all. I began to pray for her, and I felt like God wanted me to love her. After some time in silence… I typed up a prayer. After six miscarriages, God blessed me with a miracle, and I trust God could and would do the same for her.
When I closed down my computer, I wish I could say it was the end of this. But I was stewing. I couldn’t stop thinking about the condemning comments. I grew angry at all of the comments as I imagined how each one pierced this woman’s heart and must have hurt her. I got to thinking about how each and every one of us are sinners and how she did not deserved the pile of judgment that was heaped on her. There was not one comment left that came from God’s own hand. Every word that crucified her came as a result of another woman’s brokenness, and I got fuming mad! The source of my anger was this: knowing I had probably experienced more loss than any of them and my heart could feel compassion. Why couldn’t they?
But God… every so sweetly reminded me of the fact the women on this group’s page have all suffered a terrible loss. These women are in vast amounts of pain and are each venturing through their own grief journey. I’ve heard many times the expression “wounded people wound,” but this was the first time I saw demonstrated to be true. The more I got angry, the more God began to gently correct me as I heard Him say “love them all.”
“Love them all.” Those words were like an arrow that pierced straight to my heart. God continued to show me that I had crossed a line into dark place. I was judging the women who were judging the other woman. I was angry at their lack of compassion, and I was doing exactly the same thing to them! As soon as I processed this… I instantly repented.
I was reminded of Jack Hayford’s book called I’ll Hold You In Heaven. The last chapter is all about his journey to overcoming self-righteousness in regard to abortion. He writes “God wanted me to love people who had abortions, whether or not I agreed with their action. And He wanted me to do it without the usual verbal appendage, “Okay, I’ll love them, but I will hate their sin.”
There was no reason for me to be mad at those comments. The mere act of “hating their sin” is me breaking God’s command to not judge others. Luke 6:37 says “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
I realized once I asked for forgiveness that I should have never been anger. I should have prayed and commanded healing into those wounded women in the exact same way that I prayed for the one contiplating the abortion… with love and kindness. I should have trusted God to reconcile each women’s pain the way He has mine every time I have lost a child of my own. I was reminded of Psalms 103:8 which says “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”
I realize that is how God wants us to be. So a fitting end to this blog would be to repent. The title of my blog is wrong, and I am sorry. In seeing the error of my ways, I would like to re-title it “judge not the sin; nor the sinner.”