January 21, 2014

The Voice in Ramah

Posted in Holy Innocents, The Sanctity of Life, Unbelief at 9:31 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

A king, in fear that he would be undone,
Spoke death on every baby that might be the One.
And every infant in cruel Herod’s sway
Died violently that day.
And Rachel wept aloud.

Heart-shattered mothers mourned for babes adored,
Sweet lives erased, hopes severed by the sword.
But many now no pity know; they feel no dread
Of unborn babies dead.
And Rachel weeps again.

The world says they’re not humans, so you may
Dispose of them remorselessly without delay.
That day in Judah mothers cried.
Now hundreds daily die.
And Rachel weeps alone.

Copyright © 2014 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

I share this poem tonight with both gravity and compassion on the eve of yet another anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade. Staggering numbers of babies have been lost to the world since that day, and all technically legal. Staggering numbers of women and men have been deceived into believing there are no consequences of aborting their child. One of the most insidious arguments for keeping abortion legal is that women would seek abortions anyway, so the procedure should be safe, for their protection. The fact is that abortion is absolutely not safe for the most vulnerable party, who is made in the image of God, and it is absolutely not psychologically safe for mothers to ignore within themselves the image of God, which should lead them to protect and nurture their children. To sanction abortion is to kick the very props from under humanity itself. We have lived now with 41 years of the fallout from this terrible sin against the Giver of life. We have sown the wind, and as a nation do not even have the sense to realize we are engulfed by the whirlwind. That is gravity of which I spoke.

But I also mentioned compassion, which should extend first to the millions of children who will never see the light of day, but then also to the mothers who have lived to regret their decision and their family members who have been hurt by the loss. You have heard, no doubt, that abortion stops a beating heart. It also breaks another heart—at least one; if family members are aware of the event, their hearts are broken too. My compassion even extends to those who have not yet regretted their decision. Any who do not feel sorrow over such an action are more miserable than they can ever know. The good news is that we serve a God whose property is always to have mercy, and He will forgive and restore those who turn to Him.

Pray that you are never able to hear of the loss of any innocent life without being overcome by a deep and abiding sorrow, as well as a desire to speak out for those who have no voice.

Rachel should not weep alone.

The original version of this poem is dated 11 January 1993. I hadn’t looked at it in several years until I received an email tonight with a link to another poem on this topic. When I read my poem again, I realized that I was displeased with the tone I had employed 21 years ago because it lacked the compassion that I have come to see as necessary. Those who would be heard must speak the truth in love.

The only poetry note I want to mention is the use of the word remorselessly, which expresses the biggest lie told by those who support abortion. This word is an awkward mouthful, a tongue twister, and that is exactly the point. Such concepts in this context should not fall trippingly off the tongue.

1 Comment »

  1. Larswife said,

    If one can truly *like* poetry – and the meaning behind it – such as this. It rends the heart and slices through the Gordian knot of complacency. But then, that was its intent. Lord have mercy.


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