Greater Than the Sum of the Parts

I was walking alongside a woman and her partner on Market Street a few years back. It was Saturday morning, 6AM, and she was walking toward the abortion clinic, so it really was not hard to guess what was going on. I tried to ask a couple of questions, but they just continued to walk, disregarding me. Knowing I only had seconds, I decided to cut to the chase.
“Did you know that the child you are carrying was created in the image of God who is currently weaving her together in your womb?”
For the first time the woman turned to look at me.
“There is no child inside of me,” she said with a grin on her face.
“What is inside of you?” I responded.
“Just a bunch of parts.”
That was the end of the conversation as they reached the doors to the clinic and went in, without looking back. I had so many questions that I wanted to ask. The main question was, “And what are you? Are you not just a bunch of parts?”
This conversation was ringing through my mind today when I saw the video of Planned Parenthood marketing aborted babies body parts. If we reduce unborn children to “just a bunch of parts” is it really so surprising that we would then sell those parts?
The problem with this thinking is that we already know better. Human beings (adult or baby) cannot be summed up as “just a bunch of parts.” When someone commits a murder, we are not angry that a liver and heart have gone to waste. We are shocked and disgusted that a human life has been taken. linked to an infographic claiming that the human body is worth around $590,000 if we consider the value of the parts separately. But when a child is kidnapped, do parents file a lawsuit to get their $600K and move on? Of course not, they are willing to do anything to get their child back, even PAY a ransom. Why? Because human beings have a worth that is so much greater than the sum of their parts.
As a Christian I find this very easy to explain. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). The Bible explains very clearly that we, as humans, have great worth not because of who we are, but because of whose image we were created in. A materialist cannot explain why a murder is wrong, but a Christian can. Murder is wrong because that life was created in the image of God (Genesis 9:6). That is why we call Dylan Roof a monster and firefighters heroes.
Of course, to say that there is no difference between an unborn child and an adult would be misleading. As a 32-year-old my body parts are fully developed. If you were to attack me and try to take my life, I could call out and fight back. With still developing bodies, unborn children are at a severe disadvantage. And it is so much easier to treat them like “just a bunch of parts” as they have no ability to defend their own humanity.
This is why it is no stretch to apply Proverbs 31:8-9 to our present situation:
“Open your mouth for the mute,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Christian, God has called you to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We live in an age where over one million unborn children are murdered every year in America. And sadly most of us are horrified by these truths but do not allow them to change our daily life.
I admit that for most of my life I have been politically pro-life. I say “politically” because my main action to defend the unborn was to vote. Sure, I had conversations with people and sought to persuade others, but theoretical banter was as far as it would ever go. I remember my first morning out in front of the abortion clinic. It was cold, hard, and sad. But I remember knowing that for the first time I was really doing something. Perhaps you do not know someone who is seeking to have an abortion, or perhaps you feel like there is really nothing you can do. I would like to offer you an option.
Speak for the Unbornis a ministry that was founded in 2009 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, KY with the expressed goal of calling the local church to actively respond to the injustice of abortion. Every week IBC sends out believers to stand in front of the abortion clinic to talk to women and their companions. It is a hard job, but we have seen fruit. Because of this ministry babies have been saved. For those that are unable to come out, or do not feel like it is a good fit for them, we have teams that focus on praying. Some members have made baskets for women as they come out of the clinic to offer them a small snack and biblical literature. Others have been involved in training churches in the ministry, discussing our roles with the local authorities, and encouraging those who do go out. Without a doubt, there is a role for you in this battle.

My wife, Stacey, spent several weeks counseling a woman adamantly seeking an abortion. And generally, we never know how these stories end up. But this time, months later, this young woman approached my wife with a baby in her arms. With a thankful, almost embarrassed smile on her face, she said, “My baby is alive because of you.” It is at those times that we realize this ministry is worth the cold, the awkwardness, the threats, and the early mornings. Brothers and sisters, there is victory and no matter how hard it is, every life is worth it. The question for you is: will you join us?

Author: David M. Hare

Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.