There are some emotional pains that are so excruciating, so deep, and so overwhelming that words are inadequate to describe the agony. In such experiences, the deepest and most guttural of sobs seem to provide no relief.
That kind of suffering came to mind when I met a beautiful college student at my recent talk at an American university this past week. She approached me afterwards to thank me for giving her something she didn’t have previously: a way to articulate the reasons behind the pro-life position in order to make “The Case for Life” (the title for my talk in which I equipped the audience to persuasively defend the right to life of pre-born children). After she thanked me, she made a significant disclosure:
“I had a baby last December.”
She then told me her story: her parents wanted her to have an abortion. She didn’t know back then how to make the case for life to convince them it was wrong to meet their wishes, but she nonetheless knew it in her heart. And so, even if she couldn’t articulate it with her tongue, she would not allow abortion to be the answer.
An unplanned pregnancy.
An unmarried student.
A betrayal by one’s own parents who wanted their grandchild dismembered.
As she walked through that trial, a parallel suffering was being lived by two others: there was a married couple who lost not one, not two, but three children to sudden deaths. Children should expect to one day bury their parents, but parents should never have to bury their children. This couple had to bury three. Torture.
But these parallel journeys would intersect. Two crises would meet and mysteriously produce beauty: “I gave my baby up for adoption,” the student told me, “to a couple I knew for four years who had had three children and all of them died.”
She took out her phone and showed me a most precious picture of her baby girl. What joy for her to know that she played a role in bringing the gift of life, and its fruits of joy, to a couple who had known such deep sadness. What a joy for the adoptive parents to know that they played a role in receiving the gift of life and affirming the courageous and loving choice of this young woman. What a joy for both parties to know that when faced with the neediness of a little child, their response was a spirit of responsibility, generosity, and love.
Amidst the crisis pregnancy, the stirring in this student’s heart to consider adoption was as though God was whispering what He said in Revelation 21:5 “Behold I make all things new.”
Amidst the great loss of their children’s deaths, the adoptive couple’s reception of new life was as though God was breathing into them, “Behold, I make all things new.”
And 24 hours after that baby girl’s birth, her grandfather who had previously wished her aborted, called his daughter to apologize, and to thank her for giving life to his grandchild that he had held the day before—in that moment of mercy, it was as though the written word of God came to life yet again:
“Behold, I make all things new.”