|Hundreds of thousands of tiny shoes belonging to the child victims of Auschwitz. (photos by Kyrre Hovde)|
This week I traveled to Kraków, Poland with my School of Pioneering Leadership to study the history of the European church with Jeff Fountain from the Schuman Center For European Studies. As part of our teaching, we spent a day touring the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, a true hell on earth. The night before, I sat down with some of my fellow students to watch "180," an extremely well-articulated documentary comparing the silent holocaust of abortion to the horrors Hitler inflicted on millions of Jews during World War II (I've mentioned this documentary before, and I want to urge you again to please watch it if you haven't already). With that information fresh in my mind, I just lost it when we entered the memorial for the hundreds of thousands of child victims of Auschwitz. My heart broke as I saw the never-ending piles of tiny shoes belonging to precious babies just learning to take their first steps as their lives were snatched away by the gas chamber, starvation, and disease.
One thing is clear to me: We have not heeded the warning; We still have not learned the value of human life. While "180" only accounts for those abortions taking place in the United States, Nurturing The Nations by Darrow Miller reports the even more alarming global total of 46 million abortions annually (about 126,000 per day...roughly the population of my hometown of Abilene, Texas). Miller notes that "God designed a woman's womb to be the safest place in the world. Sadly, this place of compassion has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for human life."
As I stood weeping before this warning engraved on the Jewish memorial, I couldn't help but wonder if there will come a day when a similar memorial will stand to honor the millions of lives that never had the chance to begin, the stories that will never be told, the children--like those of Auschwitz--who have been robbed of their childhood. But unlike the world-wide ignorance of this holocaust as it took place during the war, we are all too aware of this multi-generational mass-murder of innocent children, and yet we do little more than put "Pro-Life" stickers on the bumpers of our cars. It's time we find our voices. You can begin by sharing "180" with everyone you know. You can also join me in searching for new creative ways to reach out to women facing this decision between life and death. I worry that the modern Church has become so focused on what we're against that we've forgotten what we're for in the process: hope, life, healing, restoring dignity, and introducing the world to a perfect Love which drives out all fear. Isn't that really what it all comes down to, fear and a lack of real understanding? Let's begin living as a people of hope, speaking the truth in love, saving the lives of innocent children as we cast out fear in the name of Jesus Christ.