Today I encountered the number 8000 in a new way. Come to think of it, I had never really thought of the number eight thousand, so I did a little research on it and found it is a fairly unremarkable number. Eight thousand does not garner as much fame as 5280 (feet in a mile), or 1492 (year that Columbus sailed the ocean blue) or 9/11 (a day that will live in infamy). Although 8000 is approximately the number of moose living in the world that hardly makes it important to the everyday, ordinary, average guy, yet for this guy 8000 is the most important number I have heard in a year. Let me explain.
This afternoon I met with a man whose is the president of a crisis pregnancy ministry in town. I am adamantly pro-life, yet what he reported to me about the number 8000 radically changed my view of the number, in fact I can’t even think of it without my emotions being stirred. The number of our discussion happens to be the amount of abortions carried out in the past year in the Greater Rochester New York area. What amplifies these numbers of slain babies in my thinking is that my youngest daughter, Ellie Mae, will be one year old on May 29th. Since she breathed her first breath, felt the warmth of her family, tasted mothers love and care, heard the comforting words of her daddy, had prayers offered to Jesus on her behalf, smiled (mostly toothless, although now with a tooth), laughed, cried and lives with potential to glorify God… 8000 children equally made in the image of almighty God have been murdered in the city she will grow up in. In this city there is a chorus of infant cries and coo’s, giggles and gurgles gone forever from the ear of humanity, a humanity in need of joy and hope that is found in God ordained life, life savagely taken to make ends meet. Sadly tonight there are teens and twenty something’s, woman in their thirties and older, who live with the ravage regret they snuffed out the life of their child. May God comfort them and lead them to find grace through His Son, and power to forgive themselves.
When my family and I came to Rochester we were told of all the activities for families and opportunities educationally, we were shown around town by wonderful saints, who no doubt wanted us to know how good a place it is for families. I am not offended by that, but expected it. In spite of this my experience tells me Jesus does not call His servants to candy land to minister, so I asked a very frustrating question… “So where is the dirt? What is the underbelly that is not easily seen?” It took 6 months to get an answer. Needless to say, this is not an easy question for Americans to answer, for so often we are too busy with our own religious and private pursuits to see the evil under our noses. This is true of all of American Christendom. I don’t believe it is because we are for the evil of abortion, for in principal we are for life, but having such a large and heinous crime being perpetrated in our midst with little or no outcry displays a huge problem.
Consider the last six months where approximately 4000 babies were murdered. Over this stretch of time the gun debate nationally was front and center in upstate New York. Fueling this debate were many conservative evangelical brothers and sisters, who are hotly contesting what is a fundamental constitutional right. The question must be asked, why was the heat and passion not displayed for the least of these for which God’s heart throbs for, in equal proportion or greater than the desire to keep and bear arms? Truth be told many are pro-life until a personal right is taken, then it’s a different ball game. We may ask, what of the God ordained right to breath and live for the 8000 little ones? Remember dear brethren when Jesus returns he will take the sword and beat it into a plow share and the spear into a pruning hook. It would seem we miss 8000 least of these for our focus being on wrong priorities.
I bring this point for the sake of illustration. Where is the outcry for the blood of these children, where is the weeping in the sanctuary, where is the burden in our churches to carry this number into the heavenly battle with Jesus authority against the devils demons who lead men to treat babies like an opportunity for a quick buck? My beloved in Christ, these 8000 souls are the church’s responsibility, but why are we essentially missing the heart of God, and sinning by our cold hearts and silent voice? It is quite simple, really, we are too busy pursing what we want, to busy focusing on our problems and to insensitive to the plight of the lost. In this we are insensitive to lost woman who need the Body of Christ to reach them with the Gospel that is forgiving and supernaturally transformational. These dear woman loved by God need men and woman of faith to take them in, and give them life as an option.
In closing let me illustrate a scenario for you, this is indicative of Rochester, but could be anywhere. On a Saturday afternoon you get in your car as you spent 2 hours and $100 on cloths at the mall. You decide to go to Wendy’s, and on the way you pass a Planned Parenthood, where as you drive by a young lady is given the abortion pill RU-86, you of course don’t know this is happening (even though you do now). As you eat your burger, you take a sea salt french-fry and bite in, and as you do another pill is administered to another pregnant but soon to not be pregnant mom. In that little amount of time, you or I with the power of the gospel, are sitting idly by while a child is being murdered. Some would cry foul, and say no fair, what can I do? Remember what the Word of God says about Himself…
“Ah LORD God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You”.
This passage from Jeremiah 32:17 illustrates what we often forget, He can when no one can. He does this through His praying children as they pray according to His Word. This is the confidence we have, if it is according to His word not only does he hear, but he answers it affirmatively. So what if His children repented of being out of focus and sought His will and prayed for an end to this annual murder of thousands. What if His people woke up and went to battle in the heavens? What if we heard the silenced coo’s and giggles, cries and sighs of the least of His? With God, 8000 could be zero.
Some Statistics to Chew on:
- With 8000 abortions per year we average 21 per day every day over the course of the year.
- If we only take a half year average for abortions in our area of 4000 and multiply that our over the course of 30 years, we have lost 120,000 children made in Gods image alone. If you take the year average of 8000 that number grows to 240,000.
How very sad.