Why Jesus? Well this might sounds crazy, but in 2013 Jesus “called” someone to take action to help people in these tough situations. After that, a few people started building a plan with Jesus that turned into ITWY. Since then, these few people believe Jesus has said, “I want to continue to be involved.” So of course, these people told him he was more welcome to be a “banner raiser” too! Not that he needed permission in the first place. 😉
Beyond the spiritual experiences that led to the birth of the effort, ITWY considers Jesus to be the foundation of the In This With You movement because of the following:
EMPATHY TO THE BROKEN – Jesus is God’s ultimate Word of empathy to a suffering world as Jesus was God made flesh and bones for 33 years. Because Jesus became human, the rest of humanity can now walk in the reality that God knows the human experience both in the joys and the hardships. Not to sound cheesy, but Jesus is God’s clearest possible articulation to us and humanity of “I’m in this with you” in the various hard circumstances we find ourselves in which include struggling after an abortion and with a crisis pregnancy. Plus, Jesus has even more credibility in empathy because he was born in a crisis pregnancy situation!
[John 1:1-14, Hebrews 2:14-18, Matthew 1:18-25]
FRIENDSHIP TO THE SHAMED – If you read about the life of Jesus in the Scriptures, you will find that he is constantly hanging around people that society and the religious stigmatized and shamed as outcasts, sinners, and others. Yet in these stories, we see that Jesus is more than happy to be seen with the very people that most rejected. And these “rejected” people loved hanging around Jesus! With ITWY, we are people who often beat down by our shame and mistakes. Yet, we are met with Jesus who is proud to call us his friends regardless of our past and the shame that is placed on us by ourselves or others.
[Luke 7:36-50, Matthew 9:9-13, John 8:1-11]
HEALING OF THE WOUNDED – “By his wounds we are healed.” Because Jesus offered himself to death for us, forgiveness, healing, and restoration are joyously offered by God to all who trust Jesus in faith and own their own sin. This offer from God is truly good news to those of us who are wounded by our own choices or by the choices of others especially in the situations of abortion.
[Isaiah 53:5, 1 John 1]
GUIDANCE TO THE LISTENER – Jesus promises his companionship and active leading to those of us who identity with him and listen for him. This is great news to those of us facing the uncertainty of choices that come with crisis situations. Because the incredibly wise Jesus lives in those who trust him, we have the ability to hear and respond to the “still small voice” and leading of Jesus in our souls when faced with the day to day questions, choices, and challenges that are presented to us.
[John 10:27, John 14:26, 1 Kings 19:11-13]
PROVISION FOR THE NEEDY – In the case of many crisis pregnancy situations, finances can be the biggest challenge and motivator facing us. Yet, Jesus reveals God’s complete awareness of our need and His promise to provide for us when we place the priorities of His kingdom first. This doesn’t mean that God will magically bless us with tons of cash, but it does mean that God will make sure we and our children will have what is needed. Often God’s provision can come through the community of people who love and follow Jesus when you are an active participant in a local church.
[Matthew 6:7-13, 25-34]
LOVE TO THE ENEMY – The cultural conversation surrounding abortion can seem more like a war than a dialogue. Often in the zealousness of held stances, people say and do mean and dishonoring things. While it would be easy to avoid the conversation altogether or get angry ourselves, Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to engage an angry world that is ready to throw stones at their opponents. Jesus simply says we must actively love and bless those who hate, slander, and are opposed to us. In the case of ITWY’s movement, we must collectively choose to joyfully sustain a posture of love to all regardless of what is said and done by others, whether it be a contentious comment on a social media thread or some other more extreme action.
[Matthew 5:38-48, 1 Peter 3:8-17]