Transforming Hearts

I’m a pastor.  Every January I preach a pro-life sermon, and I often address abortion from the pulpit throughout the year.  I also sit on the Board of Chester Country Women’s Services.

I haven’t always been pro-life.  During my college days, before I became a committed Christian, two of my friends who lived together, Terry and Cindy, discovered that Cindy was pregnant and decided together that Cindy would abort the baby.  It was not an easy decision for them, but it was easier for Cindy to decide that than to want the baby.  A day or so before Terry took her to the abortion “clinic”, Cindy told me what she would do. I listened and didn’t object.  I wasn’t particularly compassionate in those days, and although I sensed Cindy should keep the baby, I acted on a false assumption: having Cindy as my friend had nothing to do with telling her the truth.

That was over thirty years ago.

After God’s grace filled my heart and life, it was a “no-brainer” for me to understand that abortion is wrong, and I have lived by that conviction for many years.  As I recall, Terry and Cindy went their separate ways a year or two after the abortion, and I lost touch with them. I often wonder how they are doing, Cindy especially.

Sometimes, when I’m tempted not to care whether certain non-Christians will come to faith in Christ, I imagine how different they could be if Christ transformed their hearts and lives.  Speculating like that stimulates me to pray for their salvation.  And if, as in Terry and Cindy’s case, they’re no longer part of my life and I don’t know where they are, praying for them when I remember them is surely a good thing to do–praying that they would know the God who forgives sinners and gives them new life, and also oversees the lives of the rejected, helpless ones among us.

Rev. Dale Van Ness