Shining a Light

Over 63 million.

That’s how many innocent lives have been lost to abortion in this country since it was legalized nationwide by the U.S. Supreme Court back in 1973.

To give some perspective, that’s more than the total number of combined military and civilian deaths during World War II, which, by the way, was the bloodiest conflict in all of human history.

Now I’m not going to try to delve into all the different angles and arguments in the ongoing Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice debate. That would take a book of considerable length.

And I’m going to try to avoid getting all high-and-mighty here. I’m well aware that there are a lot of women and girls who find themselves having to make terrible choices in the midst of terrible circumstances, whether that involves poverty, homelessness, various kinds of addiction, mental illness, human trafficking, abusive relationships, rape, incest, or some combination thereof.

Besides, as a single guy with no children, one might reasonably argue that I don’t have any business weighing in on this subject.

But I will say this. I believe we are all God’s creations – and, as scripture asserts, He loved us and had plans and purposes for our lives even while we were still in our mothers’ wombs. And I believe all these millions of lives being cut short before they even get a chance at life is weighing heavy on our souls as Americans (whether some admit it or not).

But, as the saying goes, it’s a much better thing to shine a light than to just rail against the darkness. And, in this case, shining a light would involve actually offering real, tangible assistance to pregnant women and teenage girls in crisis – while also instilling a sense of hope and worth (their own worth and the worth of the life growing inside them) and showing that there are alternatives to abortion.

The compassionate professionals at Beating Hearts Help Center in McKenzie are shining such a light. And they do it absolutely free of charge.

Among the free services they provide are: pregnancy testing, honest information regarding abortion procedures and the risks involved, ultrasounds, prenatal development services, pregnancy education, post-abortion counseling, info and help regarding adoption options, post-adoption support, childbirth and childcare education, parenting classes, anger management education, personal crisis assistance, material assistance of various kinds, and medical, legal, and housing referrals.

Located at 21203 Highway 22, just north of the Old McKenzie Road intersection, Beating Hearts provides many of these services to not just women, but to the men/fathers involved, as well.

And while sharing God’s love is a big part of their mission as an organization, they are very careful not to be judgmental or pushy when it comes to matters of faith and belief.

Kathy Ham, one of those compassionate professionals at Beating Hearts, attends my church, and I can attest that she knows her stuff and has a real heart for this work. But I will warn you in advance; she’s a big hugger.

Beating Hearts is funded entirely through donations from area churches and individuals – so if saving unborn lives and helping women (and men) in crisis situations is something you feel strongly about, then I can’t think of a better way to back up your beliefs with bank.

*To find out more about how to make a donation or about the services provided by the Beating Hearts Help Center, you can check out their website at or call them at (731) 207-1400 – or call their crisis line at (731) 393-1401.

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