A Danish Preacher and a Train
A few years ago I heard a story during a sermon that has stayed with me to this day. The idea was that there was a Danish preacher that saved many Jews during WWII. At one point a group of Jews were being loaded onto a train in cattle cars. They assumed that their final destination was a location of execution, torture or both. What they didn’t realize was that during their journey the train came to a split in the tracks and someone, serendipitously, switched the track. When the door opened they were in Switzerland…
and were free.
The point of that sermon was about freedom. The tie-in was that these Jews were given freedom. The question had to do with what they would do with it. Would they spend their lives serving others? Would they squander their freedom in self-interest? Perhaps a bit of both?
Then a thought hit me.
That Danish preacher did what he could. He saved lives. I wonder if he had regret. I wonder if he questioned whether he could have done more. Then that got me thinking about abolitionists in the middle 19th Century. When the Civil War ended did they congratulate each other or wish they could have saved more?
My guess is they all were thankful for what God allowed them to do, but wish they could have saved more.
I can’t help but see the similarities between the above and the movement to save babies from abortion. Millions of lives have been lost in the US alone (63 million since 1973) to abortion. And there are so many groups around the country today trying to save those lives.
Some groups focus on providing services and education to expectant mothers to help them navigate pregnancy and early parenthood. I love what they do and the heart with which they do it. In the Bible it talks about helping “the least of these” and that’s exactly what the aforementioned groups are trying to do.
Some groups spend time and energy trying to provide healing to those who have already experienced lost parenthood to abortion. Almost Daddy is such an effort and there are many more. I believe that ending the demand for abortion will ultimately end abortion. And I believe that to do that we must heal those impacted.
Other groups go out in front of abortion clinics and solemnly pray as women and men go in past them. I believe the work they do is also valuable in saving lives. I’ve talked to several people involved in such groups. They share stories about women and men stopping to pray with them, share their fears and feelings of being alone. Many lives are saved.
But I believe we all feel it’s not enough.
We all want to do more…to save more.
When I think about these things and the Danish preacher I ultimately think about freedom. Sure, the obvious, that we are free to have or not have abortions in this and many countires. But that’s not what I mean. I mean the freedom to get involved…to speak up and speak out.
We have the freedom to keep our abortion stories to ourselves..to save face and to avoid embarassement.
But what does that freedom gain?
Unlike the Holocaust and US slavery, we don’t have to sneak around to save babies and their moms and dads. We have the freedom to do so right out in the open. And we should, lest we get to the end and wonder if we could have done more.
Instead, let us come to the end knowing we have done all we could and have saved many.
Published on: October 9, 2021