I read an article in a popular devotional magazine several months ago that I think about every so often. The author shared how she was on a plane one day and as the stewardess was going through the instructions, she announced to the passengers that the pilot's girlfriend had just found out she was pregnant with twins. The passengers clapped and shouted their congratulations to the pilot. The author wrote that she clapped, but she also said she couldn't believe she and the others were clapping for the pregnancy of an unwed mother. She said she felt that they were condoning a sin that's become commonplace.
Every time I think about that article, I am unsettled. It didn't settle with me when I first read it, and it still doesn't. I guess it bothers me because that's exactly the attitude I had up until several years ago. Until I was the one needing grace. Since reading that article, this post has been in the recesses of my brain.
I'd like to offer up a different perspective:
I'd like to think the passengers, with the exception of the author, were celebrating new lives. No matter the circumstances surrounding a pregnancy, the truth is that babies are God's creation. He knew before the foundation of the world that those twins would be conceived. He knew the plans He had for those babies. He planned the miracle of their lives. And while the passengers may or may not have considered those thoughts at all, that's the essence of what they were celebrating. New life. New creation. I hope that the author was the only person on that plane who was judging the pilot and his girlfriend behind her plastered smile and clanging cymbals.
So often we Christians miss out on so much of life because we fear we may appear to be condoning sin. We miss so many opportunities to share Jesus because we're too busy condemning someone else's actions. We miss chances to celebrate because we don't want to be caught participating in what is essentially...life. We don't enjoy a wedding reception because we're too busy condemning the alcohol and dancing, yet do we remember Jesus' first miracle? We don't befriend people with a "reputation," yet who were the people Jesus hung out with most? I dare say that Christians often don't represent Jesus as well as we'd like to think we do. It's time for us to really celebrate life!