Many of you new pro-lifers (or maybe even the seasoned veterans) may be able to relate to this: Becoming pro-life is like coming out of the fog. Visibility starts to clear and the surroundings sometimes are new. "How come I have never seen this before?" "How could my life had been so clouded?" I also translate this to my Christian walk as well. As you delve into knowledge, you discover new insights and new people. Sometimes you discover horrifying things too (a heart-palpitating trip from Modesto, in the fog, had us opening our doors to check to see if we were still on the road). In this case, though, I remember the first time that I discovered that some babies actually survived abortions. I also remember the time I realized that there were many different methods of abortion. The more I learned, the more I looked at my past life and said, "How could my life been so clouded as to not know this?" This ignorance was not bliss at all. As horrifying as it is to find out (and it's horrifying to share this with others), I am glad to know about it now because it has to STOP.
I always considered myself to be somewhat smart (except for those times I considered myself kind of dumb). I don't corner the market on Egghead Status, but I don't consider myself a complete slouch either. Reading has always been a favorite past-time and I love biographies and autobiographies of historical figures. My youthful years were filled with the fiction of Evelyn Waugh, R.H. Delderfield and Somerset Maugham as well as Margaret Mitchell, A. J. Cronin and whatever was offered in my literature class. In addition, books about people's experiences becoming nurses, doctors and coroners were pretty fascinating too....anything medical My parents put quite a few books in my hands as they were huge readers themselves. I give them a lot of credit for fostering the love of reading in me! :)
It's a big world out there so we are apt to miss some really good stories. However, in my fog, I heard passing references to Corrie Ten Boom and William Wilberforce. They were just names connected with a brief blurb "Hid Jews in her home during World War 2" and "Fought slavery in England" (respectively). They were just names of old people who lived long ago. I had no idea they were Christian or the amount of bravery they possessed for what they did. The fog in my world was THICKER than any Modesto fog!!
A few years ago, several things happened. Well, first I became saved which was huge as my life would never be the same again. The other thing was that we homeschooled our son and daughter. This led me to several homeschool conventions. Anyone who has been to a convention of that sort knows of the vending halls full of REALLY cool resources....especially books! Yay! There are mountains of Christian books. My appetite was whetted for learning about missionaries and other Christian historical figures. My own childhood history classes were sorely lacking of such wonderful and interesting accounts.
Around this time, a movie came out called "Amazing Grace". My husband and I were both very eager to support the Christian film industry and/or movies that promoted clean entertainment. Thanks to Vision Forum and Answers in Genesis and Rich Christiano, we were able to provide some God-honoring videos to our children. "Amazing Grace" was well-done in acting, sets, script and message. However, I prefer the biography by Eric Metaxes and there is a short book by John Piper that is also very good. Even better than that would be to read Wilberforce's own books! That also goes for Corrie Ten Boom with The Hideaway and Tramping for the Lord.
In reading these books, I could just feel my heart swell up! Many people understand what it means to say it's visceral. The feelings are so deep within that it permeates the very core of being. In Wilberforce and Ten Boom's imperfections and idiosyncrasies, they were used by Christ. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and lived lives of great courage, conviction and application of their beliefs. They both suffered great losses and yet were indomitable in spirit. Sometimes you hear about certain people and the conviction you realize is "I just have absolutely NO reason to complain about my circumstances". The Christian should be content with everything in his life yet we still act selfishly in some manner. Shamefacedly, I admit to this (God continues to prune me).
These are just two people. There are many more stories of servants who served Christ....and I don't want to leave anyone out. I love the story of Gladys Aylward too. We have so many examples in the Bible and in our historical accounts. Today we had a teaching at Bible study about all our excuses as to why we don't obey God's call. Moses and Jeremiah came up with our same excuses. "I don't know what to say", Maybe no one will believe me", "I'll be rejected", "I am too young" (or maybe it's "I am too old or infirm"), or maybe it's "I am just plain scared" and/or ill-equipped. I can relate. Wilberforce and Ten Boom could have come up with some very good reasons not to follow through with God's call on them. On the contrary, these were people who said in essence, "I MUST". They would not have had a second's peace turning their backs on the slaves and the Jews. They were the Good Samaritans of their ages.
It stings sometimes to know that these fine examples of Christ's servants existed and it took me ages to know about them. There is the nagging notion that there are still many others out there and I am still in the fog (okay, those of you who know me personally.....what was that? Yes, I am in the fog but not for the reason above? Ah, yes, you know me too well).
Please feel free to share about the many examples who inspire you....Biblical to present time. When you came out of the fog.....what did you discover?