What Being Pro-Life Really Means

You aren’t really pro-life until you’re willing to die to preserve it.

The term “pro-life” brings to mind two things for most folks today: Abortion and politics. But being pro-life goes far beyond mobile sonogram clinics and Capitol Hill. It’s about being pro-life like God is pro-life.

 

I first saw the movie The Fugitive in 1993. It’s a story about Dr. Richard Kimball (Harrison Ford), who is framed and wrongly sentenced to die for the murder of his wife.

He escapes and embarks on a quest for the one-armed man he knows actually committed the murder. All along, the U.S. Marshall (Tommy Lee Jones) is trying to hunt him down and bring him to justice.

When we are so pro-life that we are willing to die to preserve life, it changes the coldest, most cynical hearts.As a 15-year-old, I appreciated the movie for its action and mystery. But a few weeks ago, I watched it again—this time, through the eyes of a 38-year-old husband, father and pastor.

That’s when I noticed something—a subtle but beautiful pro-life message that permeates the film: You aren’t really pro-life until you’re willing to die to preserve it.

The term “pro-life” brings to mind two things for most folks today: Abortion and politics. But being pro-life goes far beyond mobile sonogram clinics and Capitol Hill. It’s about being pro-life like God is pro-life.

God put humans in a garden (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7-15) to flourish and cultivate life around them. He gave his people the commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exod. 3:16) and made provision to protect life, even for those who unintentionally took the life of another (Deut. 19:2-6).

Then Jesus, when he reinforced the law in the Sermon on the Mount, carried the implications of being pro-life into the way we talk to and forgive one another (Matt. 5:21-26).

The Apostle John later exposed the fact that the heart behind not murdering is active love; anyone who truly knows God goes out of his way to love others and cultivate life in them (1 John 3:11-15).

That’s what I noticed about Dr. Kimball. His remarkable pro-life ethic not only had him laying his life down to save others, but as he gave his life away, it changed others’ lives. Paradoxically, as he laid his life down for others, he ended up saving his own. Sound familiar? (Luke 9:24, 17:33) Dr. Kimball displayed this in several ways:

Pro-Life, Saving Lives

First, he’s a doctor. His day job is to preserve life. But it goes beyond that. This is demonstrated when the bus carrying Dr. Kimball to prison crashed and was about to be hit by a train. As he’s about to escape, he looks back and sees an injured guard.

With the train barreling down, he risks his life to rescue the ones who had kept him unjustly in chains (Acts 16:23-34). When Dr. Kimball sees the guard again at a hospital, he risks being caught to inform the paramedics of the particular way the man needed to be medically treated (Luke 10:33-35).

Then, there’s the scene that changed everything. In his quest to find the one-armed man that murdered his wife, Dr. Kimball disguises himself as a hospital janitor so he can gain access to prosthetic records.

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