Our Preborn Neighbors
This morning during our devotional time as a staff, I was sitting next to one of our staff members who is pregnant with her first child. I was pondering my core belief about the reality that two people were sitting next to me, not just one. I was also thinking this morning about who is my neighbor,metaphorically speaking, and how I am called to reach my neighbor with the love of Christ.
As I watched this young woman I was prompted by the Spirit to remember that the other neighbor sitting next to me may not yet be visible to me, but is very much alive. If the preborn person next to me is fully human, which I believe, then I need to treat her as equally important as my born neighbor, the woman next to me who is completely visible.
This compels me to be innovative and creative in how I reach the preborn people near me. I know I must be intentional in my thinking by acknowledging the preborn in the first place, but then I need to take some kind of action. The most likely path would be reaching the preborn’s mom by offering sincere value and worth to her as an image-bearer of God Himself. I believe that one of the most valuable things I can do for another person is offer a sincere, heartfelt prayer for him or her—that act can be truly powerful, and it is the best way to begin to show value in another person.
And so this morning I found myself praying a blessing over my neighbor sitting next to me. I prayed for the baby in her womb—that even now she will know the voice of the Creator. I prayed protection over her mom and dad, and I prayed for provision as they start this new season. I prayed for a safe and healthy delivery—that the Lord would fill the delivery room with His presence, guiding the doctors and nurses every step of the way.
According to Jeremiah 1:5 this preborn person was actually thought of by God before she was conceived in her mother’s womb, and the Lord had already predetermined a purpose and destiny for her life. (Even now, a few weeks before her due date, she has a name…but Mom and Dad are keeping it to themselves!) I am always struck by this truth about God: He thought of this child way before the earth became Earth. He had designed a purpose and meaning for her life from the beginning of time. He is an amazing God!
I had a keen sense of joy as I was praying these truths into her life, because I was recognizing that the preborn person next to me is a real person, made in the very image of God, and I was joining the Father in fully acknowledging the preborn as a neighbor. I was taking the time to pause and really understand who was actually next to me. I was participating with the Father in blessing this person and her parents. This is so helpful for me (even though it may seem very simple): even in my life when things become busy, the preborn person becomes invisible and unacknowledged. Whenever this occurs, I need to pause and reflect once again on the complete humanness of the preborn person. This pleases the Lord as I partner with Him in blessing His creation.
The challenge then is this: in my daily activities, when I see a pregnant woman, I must intentionally acknowledge the preborn person’s presence, and treat her mom in a life-giving way. I may never know who that unseen person will become someday. But if I do, I will be glad that I acknowledged her before she was born, prayed over her, and partnered with the Father in His perfectly designed plan for her life.