I wept when I saw the picture first. It was a drawing, black and white. Jesus was holding an infant to his chest, the child’s mouth agape in anguish and perplexity. An unwanted baby, aborted one instant, in the arms of Jesus the next.

He was safe.

I know, I know. In this story was a man who abandoned not only his child but the woman with whom he had conceived him. Did he walk away with callous indifference, or mild regret? I am a father. Though I did not carry my child to term in my body (I am anatomically challenged, you understand), I have powerful feelings about my child. I cannot imagine any place in the galaxy where I would have walked away from her. But I suppose this man did.

And, I know. The young woman would have been terrified, alone, under intense pressure and confused.

Can we do better about supporting such a young woman? Of course we can. Can the church supply and strengthen a single mom who brings her child to term?     Sure.

Yes, motives would have been messy and the actions desperate. She would have hovered outside the clinic, fearful of what she was contemplating. There would be regrets later, a hole in the young mother’s heart.

She might not yet know it, but even for her, there is the offer of mercy and recovery with a loving Savior. Only with a loving Savior is there mercy and recovery. How profoundly does Jesus desire to give her this mercy and recovery!

But back to the moment of extraction. Please forgive me, but you surely know this is so: the forceps pierce the young woman’s body, clamping down on a body part, any body part, the silent scream of the unborn, the arm, the legs, the head dragged out, the cessation of life.

And in the next instant, safe in the arms of Jesus.

Not for a moment did my wife and I consider disposing of our child. I am unspeakably glad we did not. I now have two grandchildren whose sweet lives were similarly not cut short. I pray they will grow to know their grandfather and his faith.

“No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives out a few days” (Isaiah 65:19,20).