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“Gratefulness and Grief”

As I’ve been processing the momentous decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, two emotions have been tugging at my heart. The first one is gratefulness. Timothy Dalrymple in Christianity Today articulates it well:


“We celebrate the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson. The sanctity and dignity of all human life remains the preeminent moral issue of our time, and five decades of calling evil good has distorted the moral vision of our culture. Overturning Roe is a testament to a long faithfulness, passed down from parents to children to grandchildren, to fight for the lives and dignity of people in all stages of development.”


The second emotion pulling at me is grief. Many people in our nation are experiencing this decision as a tragedy rather than a triumph. Much of the anger expressed on social media and in the streets flows from women feeling hurt and fear. Our history is far too full of oppression and violence against women, and so for many this decision awakens anguish and dread.


Feeling both gratefulness and grief, I experienced a moment of grace when I discovered Psalm 139 was assigned for Morning Prayer this past Monday. The Holy Spirit had given David words in his day that I could pray in ours.


A song of gratefulness for the unborn:


For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them. (vv. 13-16)


And words to pray for those fearing abandonment:


Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

and the light about me be night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;

the night is bright as the day,

for darkness is as light with you. (vv. 7-12)


I have a third emotion growing within me: determination. There remains much work to be done in a post-Roe culture for cultivating protection, care, and wholeness for the lives of mothers and children, for all women, for all families. I’m grateful that Immanuel financially supports Life First Pregnancy Center, yet believe that we can foster a more involved relationship with them in which we give our time in addition to our money. If this resonates with you, please let me know so we can explore together to love our neighbors well.


Your Pastor in Christ,