My wife, Julie, spoke to over 400 local leaders at a banquet to raise support for the local Pregnancy Care Clinic last night. I was incredibly proud of her and the way she stood in the bright light of the stage inviting these local leaders into deeper levels of grace and love. The fruit of the service that she and the ladies of our church and Embrace Grace was standing on the stage with her, with their babies in their arms. These ladies had chosen life and were experiencing love born of service.
Someone else was going to speak to challenge the attendees to give. Julie challenged the mostly church-going, mostly Republican crowd that was pro-life to become pro-love as well. She asked them to step past their perspectives into the grace necessary to not only support the women’s choice of life, but the women themselves. The chasm that exists between the ladies that Embrace Grace seeks to serve and the relatively affluent, well-adjusted audience is wide and deep in many ways. The bridge that can close the gap is love, not money.
Money is necessary to support the work of places like the Pregnancy Care Clinic, but love is what changes lives. Support and funding are required to keep the operation going, but grace is what keeps the hope of the operation alive. Giving is right and valuable while engagement is messy yet powerful. Investment of resources produces opportunity, investment of love produces transformation.
Julie came from a difficult beginning and knows that the cry of a teenage girl’s heart during the time of pregnancy and young motherhood is one which calls out for love. It usually comes from a void born of a lie and can only be resolved through the kind of Eternal intimacy available through Jesus. That love of Jesus is contained in us as we are chosen as His delivery system. We can pray and we can pay, but the ultimate intersection is one of life on life without judgment or conditions.
Every one of the women of our church who are investing in the lives of these young mothers through Embrace Grace will tell you that the benefit to their service is mostly their own. Sure, the girls that are having babies are loved and mentored and receive a great baby shower as well as a beautiful banquet. These ladies that allow His love to flow through them, however, benefit from the manifestation of Grace in their own lives as they represent Jesus by physically embracing those that are so deeply in need of a vision for what He looks like. He looks like Julie and the other ladies that pour out.