March 29, 2012

The youth group joined the adult Bible class I spoke to recently in South Dakota. They sat in the front row which impressed me as there was no indication their leader “forced” this upon them! After the study on the God-given value of human life, I handed these young people the fetal models I had used as illustrations. They seemed to enjoy touching them and passing them amongst themselves.

After awhile nearly everyone left, except one girl. She’s the one who asked the question. She remained in her seat holding the twenty-week baby in her lap. Tears flowed down her cheeks. I sat down beside her to inquire what was wrong, but before I could speak she asked, “Why is the world so dumb?” Her sobs replenished the stream of tears. 

Here was a teenage girl angry at the world for its horrid treatment of the unborn. Here was a teenage girl, her tear drops falling on the baby she held, grieving for the unborn who would never be touched or held. I affirmed her right to be angry. I lauded her compassion. I tried to encourage her by the fact that God can use both her anger and compassion to instill in her a real passion for His gift of life and for upholding and defending it. Looking back I’m guessing He already had!

I’m not sure how much my encouragement helped her. I am sure how much her encouragement helped me! How encouraging to see passion in this teen and so many others like her. I told this youth group, as I try to tell all the youth with whom I speak, that I am counting on them to translate their passion and energy for life into words and deeds that will influence our culture in a way my generation did not. I am convinced they will! 

After something like this you think of those things you wish you would have said! Psalm 37 comes to mind. “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!” (1) And then in verses 12-13, “The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.” We should be angry as the wicked of our age plot against the most vulnerable of lives. But we get nowhere if we just rage against the wicked and become preoccupied with attacking them. They are nothing but a “laugh” to God. He will handle them.

The Holy Spirit, through David, offers a more positive approach in the intervening verses. For example, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (5-6). We at LFL will continue to equip Lutherans to be “Gospel-motivated voices For Life.” We will continue to help Lutherans apply the Gospel to the life issues and “trust in him, and he will act.” After all, the Gospel is the most powerful and positive life-affirming message in the universe! It changes hearts. It changes lives. It’s just what a dumb world needs!