Hearts of Rebellion
By Simone Varney
To write “Not Yet a Human” on your clearly pregnant, basketball sized belly is interesting. I’m a woman who’s been denied the privilege of bearing a child, yet what I’ve observed of other’s experience suggests I would have come to a different conclusion. I’m also a Christian and much of scripture contradicts the statement, so I’m left scratching my head at this woman’s argument, and the fact many others would agree with her.
She revealed her stomach with its statement, in protest at the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Contrary to the caterwauling that is going on this did not remove any rights from women, but sent the issue of abortion back to each individual state, so in effect, closer to the people.
When interviewed this woman stated she was Jewish, and in her faith, life did not begin till the first breath. To add emphasis to her stance the woman pointed to a child nearby and told the interviewer, that child was human because they thought for themselves, and she clearly believed that to be the important distinction.
I’ve not been around a lot of pregnant women, but when I have I’ve seen they have a tendency to talk to their ‘bumps’, to play music to them, to avoid being around violent actions and noises, and to be devastated if they experience a miscarriage or a still birth. To the point now where there are memorial events held if a woman has miscarried, something already standard for still births.
There is scripture highlighting this issue such as John leaping for joy in the womb when he meets Jesus in Mary’s womb, joy of course being a human emotion (Luke 1:41). Or the psalmist stating his life was known by God before he lived a day outside the womb, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalm 139:16, NASB). Jacob and Esau wrestled in the womb, fighting for supremacy, something they continued to do outside the womb (Gen 25:22-23), and God told Jeremiah he was ordained as a prophet to the nations before he was formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5).
If we leave rape/incest out of it (1.5% of all abortions), we live in a world where actions have consequences don’t we? I’ve watched the program “Seconds from Disaster” and the takeaway seems to be that for accidental events to occur, failures have to happen at numerous points, and often those occurrences are time sensitive. An unwanted pregnancy is no different. The woman has to fail to take contraceptive measures, has to meet someone she wants to have sex with, the man has to fail to take contraceptive measures, they both have to be fertile at the time, and then the woman has to fail to take contraceptive measures soon after the event, if indeed the sexual act was a completely unexpected occurrence.
Of course I recognise not everyone acts with forethought or with the consequences in mind. In fact the very nature of the act means we often don’t, and the consequences can be life changing. But there are a lot of circumstances we can place ourselves in which have life changing consequences, there is much that can upset our plans. Yet very few decisions, if any, involve taking another life.
So what is this outcry from women and those who support them? A temper tantrum? A desire to have their own way no matter the cost? Are they blind to what the rest of us know instinctively, that what’s in the womb is not a collection of cells, that from the outset there is purpose and intention? That even if you can’t accept your basketball sized bump is human, you cannot deny, if you don’t get in it’s way, it will live a human life? Yet our system is tilted towards enabling women to have their ‘inconvenience’ removed easily. And I suspect the real force behind the enablement is the financial gain to be had from harvesting unmentionable things in the abortion process, a fact hidden from the general population.
I don’t use the term ‘enabled’ lightly. Addiction is a person shielding themselves from pain. Likewise, every excuse for abortion is an attempt to prevent the excusee from suffering the painful consequences of their actions. Perhaps the great tragedy is not only that they would destroy the life inside their womb, but that they lose the opportunity to become the person capable of incurring the consequences of their actions. It’s a double tragedy, and no life flows from it.
I speak as someone unexpectedly and unusually affected by abortion. In the early 2000’s my husband and I discovered that despite his vasectomy reversal, we were unable to have children. We entered the adoption pool but weren’t given a lot of hope, with the ratio of children to prospective parents a disheartening one. During this period a very close relative became pregnant with a child they did not want. I thought at the time it was perfect, that God had provided, but it was not to be. The child was aborted, even with a trusted home offered up.
What does that take in the heart of the ones involved? I remember being told to ‘butt out’ when I saw the trajectory of the decision making process. And I did. I bought into the irritation from the father, that it was ‘up to her’, and all that was going to be considered was what ‘she’ wanted. The ‘my body, my choice’ argument, which immediately and nonsensically denies his involvement in the production, as well as the life that had already begun in her womb. It seemed her decision making process centred on not wanting to carry a pregnancy, with all the issues, sacrifices, and inconveniences that come with it, rather than focusing on the life and death reality.
I had a dream around that time which featured a blond boy about 8 years old. It was clear in the dream that he was with me, that he was mine. I cannot know if that means anything, not now anyway, but we did adopt a son nine months after entering the adoption pool who is most definitely not blond. I was given his name by God, and it represents repentance.
The gospel promises abundant life, in the here and now as well as the time to come, but we have to follow Jesus, we cannot demand our own way. I remember the first time I met the Lord, I came up against this very thing. I’d just been denied what I wanted most in the world at that time, and I was travelling home fresh from the experience. It was a moonlit night and as I reached the southern end of town, as my car floated past a line of sheds on the rivers edge, through a gap I glimpsed the full moon reflecting off the water, and I took a screen shot in my mind’s eye. Yet that wasn’t all I captured. I heard something, not audibly, but in my heart. And I didn’t hear it so much as I received it, an understanding, a revelation, as if until that moment I’d been walled off from a whole aspect of knowledge, and the wall had just been removed.
What came to me, in part, not the whole was there is a ‘way’ to live. And for the first time it was revealed in a form I was able to comprehend, to take something from, and instantly apply to myself. It wasn’t some booming voice overriding me, but rather it had spoken gently to my heart. I wasn’t afraid, nor did I feel condemned, I was just surprised. How was it I hadn’t known that the world wasn’t there to do my bidding; to be manipulated by me? That I wasn’t free to do what I wanted, not because of the harm I might do someone else, but because of the way the world was arranged.
There was an unchanging force, not a set of rules, not guidelines I could choose to follow or not, but a law, like gravity. It operated whether I chose to believe it or not. Whether I knew it was there or not. I’d been living this life of taking what I wanted to meet my needs, with little regard for anyone else, and in that moment I could see I’d been trying to fight this law, to walk off the cliff and think I wouldn’t fall to the ground. I didn’t know whose ‘way’ this was at that point, but in that moment, I was painfully aware, it was irrefutable.
It leads me to believe this all comes down to the heart of the individual. It comes back to God, and mankind’s hard hearted attempts to get his own way. The question is always being asked of us – will you turn from your way? “Seek the Lord” while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for “He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7, NASB).
Therefore, what the woman wrote on her stomach is not interesting. No. Her writing “Not yet a Human” on her baby ‘bump’, that was a statement of rebellion.
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I Am Not A Leper
In days gone, societies used to banish lepers forbidding them to mix with normal society. They were to identify themselves and cry ‘unclean, unclean’ to warn people around them.
Lepers could not go to the temple, until the priest had declared them healed and the appropriate sacrifice was made. The priest had to go outside the camp to meet with the leper and perform the sacrifice (Lev 14:2).
In other words, lepers were not welcome in the city, the temple, in fact anywhere. People living in fear would no doubt avoid them whey heard the cry ‘unclean, unclean’.