A Pastor’s Compassion for the Post-Abortive
She walked into my office. I could tell she was nervous. When I heard her story I could tell why. She was post-abortive, she had a new boyfriend and was afraid to tell him her story. She loved the church, but felt people would shun her when they found out about her past. Besides that it was almost the birthday time for her aborted child and she was feeling very guilty … and sad.
You might think this story unique, but when you serve the church and walk in the village for very long, you soon learn that those with stories like the one above are everywhere. I have also learned that there are times when you can help these desperate people, but unfortunately many times you cannot. I have struggled over the reasons why so many do not let the church and others help.
One of the thoughts that seems most logical is they just do not want to hurt anymore. The wound is still fresh. The memories too vivid. I have heard them ask over and over:
- “Who can I trust?’
- “Will I be betrayed?”
- “Can I ever feel like a whole person again?”
- “Why are people so judgmental?”
You might understand if they were referring to the “world,” but that is not the case. Most of the time they are making reference to the church.
I think, as a pastor, I was there for a while. The thought of ending the life of God’s creation was abhorrent to me. The whole idea was unimaginable. From the pulpit I would make my case for life, and do it in such a way that innocently, I was not only offending many, but making life more difficult for those who were dealing with the guilt and loss that accompanies abortion.
Until one day another young lady helped me to see the error of my preaching. From that time until now my distaste for abortion has not changed, but my love and consideration for those who have experienced this devastating procedure has grown.
Some in spiritual leadership must feel that the stronger and more condemning their rhetoric against abortion is, the more people will be influenced to choose morality and chastity. I pray that be so, but for most who hear the bombastic sermons, it only causes more pain and a tendency to withdraw even further into one’s private hell. I apologize for those who inflict pain rather than healing.
Pastor, please be gentle, loving and forgiving. Offer hope, not despair – even as Jesus our Great Shepherd would do.
As I read the pages of Her Choice to Heal, as well as the contents of this book, I think back to the early days of Sydna’s passion to help those who had been wounded even as she had. I think back to those countless hours we sat together discussing how she could establish a vehicle for God to use in reaching the post-abortive. And then one day, like a little bird finding its wings, she just took off and her work with Ramah International began.
So much of what Sydna does is a step in faith. What keeps her going I’m not sure, but I imagine it to be the support she receives from her family, the anointing God has placed upon her, and the fruit of her labor. She has seen the results of her investment – changed lives, healed emotions, and freedom to love again restored to countless numbers.
I would go so far as to say when you read the wisdom with which Sydna writes, and the emotion that flows from her heart for those like her who have felt the sting of moral failure and wondered if life would ever be normal again … it will change you and sensitize your understanding forevermore.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11).
Rev. H.B. London Jr.
Former Vice President, Church & Clergy
Focus on the Family
NOTE: Pregnancy centers and pastors lost a great advocate when God called HB London, Jr. home on October 16, 2018. I was blessed when Dr. James Dobson placed me under HB’s leadership. HB was my mentor, boss and friend while managing Focus on the Family’s Crisis Pregnancy Ministries (1991-1998). HB earned the title of, “The Pastor’s Pastor.” He cared more for the work of pregnancy centers and post-abortive healing than any other pastor I’ve known. He spoke for hundreds of pregnancy center fund raising events and helped pastors understand why these wonderful ministries needed and deserved their local support.
As Psalm 116:15 – Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints, reveals, HB’s graduation to glory must have been a phenomenal event in Heaven. This blog is HB’s prologue to my book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion. Please keep his family in your prayers as we all begin life without his smile. SYDNA MASSÉ