I know several women personally whose babies died in Memphis, Tennessee – women who have since lamented over uninformed, ill-advised, and deeply regretted choices. Others were pressured or forced by people they loved. I’ve heard their detailed, distressing descriptions, and I’ve seen the pain in their eyes as they grieved over their loss.
Memphis is one of the nation’s poorest cities, and according to the most recent crime data from the FBI, the metro area had the highest violent crime rate in the entire U.S. for the second year in a row.
Until several years ago, there were three abortion clinics in the city of Memphis. After one of the three clinics closed several years ago, two abortion facilities were left standing: Choices. – Memphis Center for Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood.
Just one year after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Choices leaped into full operation. It is now the oldest freestanding abortion clinic in the state. For 42 years, the group has been specializing in the demise of innocent human beings.
It has the appearance of a healthcare facility – a place of healing. But it’s not. After all, a healthcare provider doesn’t kill people.
The sinister operation has recently made an alarmingly incongruent business decision. Choices has recently purchased and plans to add on to a vacant building, replacing the existing operation about a mile away. The three million dollar project would result in 9,000 square feet more than is offered in its current operational space. What will the abortion provider do with the additional square footage?
Are you ready for this? The abortuary plans to open the city’s first licensed birthing center right there under the same roof.
Imagine arriving in the lobby of the new Choices facility. A sign-in sheet awaits you with the words, “Which version of our team would you like to see today? Would you like a cradle or a grave for your baby?”
It is difficult to imagine that the staff of an abortion clinic would or could be interested in delivering live babies.
How can the same person who participates in the violent dismemberment of a baby help to deliver a baby safely and compassionately? How can the person who puts the dismembered baby body parts back together, then scrapes them into a red plastic bag labeled “infectious waste,” also gently wrap a tiny, crying newborn in a blanket and hand her to her mother?
How can the executive director who has proudly sported a dress with the words “Love abortion” woven into the fabric wear a heart of compassion toward mothers who value their babies and themselves? Can she value life and love murder? Can she separate herself into two personalities – one evil and one good?
Somehow this scenario reminds me of the classic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde wherein one man portrays a vastly different moral character from one moment to the next. Jekyll creates a potion to mask the hidden evil within his personality. As a result, he vacillates between the two personalities: Hyde is an evil sociopathic murderer, and Jekyll is a kind gentleman who becomes so impressed with his good deeds that he begins to believe he is completely redeemed. But the evil Hyde personality eventually takes over his entire being.
Matthew 6:22-23 (NASB) says, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
God knew that, just like workers in an abortion clinic, we would choose darkness over light. He knew that we, like Dr. Jekyll, would try to redeem ourselves by outweighing our bad deeds with good deeds. But any such efforts are utterly futile.
John Piper, founder of DesiringGod.org explains it this way:
A ‘good eye’ is a valuing eye, a discerning eye, a treasuring eye. … It sees beauty and ugliness, it senses value and worthlessness, it discerns what is really desirable and what is undesirable. The seeing of the good eye is not neutral. When it sees God, it sees God-as-beautiful. It sees God-as-desirable. The good eye is a single eye. It has one Treasure. God. When that happens in your life, you are full of light.
Let’s pray for good eyes.
And let’s remember that, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient … not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, NASB).