Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982. Sonograms failed to reveal that he had tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. As you can imagine, Nick struggled as a youth with depression and loneliness. At one point he wanted to drown himself in the bathtub, believing he would never have a wife and children or do anything important with his life.
Today Nick is married with an 18-month-old son. Since his first speaking engagement at age 19, he has traveled the world and shared his story with millions. He is an author, musician, and actor who enjoys fishing, painting and swimming. In 2005 he established an international non-profit ministry called Life Without Limbs.
Nick spoke yesterday in Dallas at the Council for Life's annual Celebrating Life Luncheon. His testimony was remarkable: "As a child I never thought I'd be any sort of communicator of hope, because I did not have any hope. I don't remember the last time I prayed for a miracle to have limbs, because I know I don't need limbs, I need peace. I don't need limbs, I need purpose. I don't need limbs, I need Jesus. And when you have Jesus you have everything you need, because that is the only source of hope. If you have hope you have everything and Jesus is the hope."
It has been my privilege to work with Council for Life since coming to Dallas in 1998. I am especially grateful for their positive, life-affirming approach to the issue of abortion. As their mission states, they are "empowering women, men, and youth to make life-affirming choices." They are not just pro-birth, but pro-life. They offer the grace of Jesus to all, whatever their experiences with abortion.
When I spoke to their Circle of Life Dinner on Wednesday night, I explained why their positive, gracious spirit is more important today than ever. According to Gallup, Americans' positions on abortion have not varied significantly in the last 40 years. In 1975, 53 percent thought it should be legal only under certain circumstances; 50 percent agree today. Twenty-two percent thought it should be illegal in all circumstances; 21 percent agree today. Twenty-one percent thought it should be legal under any circumstances; 28 percent agree today.
What has changed significantly is the way young adults view the issue. Fifty-six percent now believe abortion should be legal in all cases, twice the national average. More than any generation before them, they value adjectives such as "tolerance," "kind," and "positive" while rejecting adjectives such as "judgmental," "intolerant," and "narrow-minded." So, when we engage our culture on the issue of life, it is vital that we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) with compassion for all those involved.
In so doing, we will follow the example of our Savior: "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice" (Isaiah 42:1-3).
The next time you think God cannot use your life for his Kingdom purposes, consider Nick Vujicic's declaration: "If God can use a man without arms and legs to be his hands and feet, then he will certainly use any willing heart!" Do you agree?
Publication date: November 14, 2014
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
Do you want to live a life in whole-hearted pursuit of loving God and others?
Read today's First15 at www.first15.org.