Bad things happen to Good people.

I have recently read "The Atonement Child" by Francine Rivers. It was a book that really made me think about what I would do in the same situation.

Basically the plot is that a Christian girl, with a Christian fiancé who attends a Christian college is raped on her way home one night. She does not take the morning-after pill because she is in a state, and she is sure her fiancé is so anti-abortion that he would not accept the use of an abortion agent, and also she is so sure God wouldn't allow her to have got pregnant.

All the characters have to deal with "why did God allow this to happen?" and "is this God's will, or God's judgment?".
Then she finds out she is pregnant, and as several characters say "no-one would judge you for having an abortion in these circumstances". So she has to decide what she believes is right, and what she will do. There are complications to the story- such as the college does not allow un-wed mothers to continue as students.
I won't tell you what she decides- that would spoil the story!

It made me think along a few different trains of thought - and I have by no means come to any satisfactory conclusions in my own conscience...
How right is the preconceived idea that a child conceived by rape should automatically be aborted? Surely to say so is to say that the children of rapists do not deserve to live? Or that rapists should be sterilized? Is a child a "monster" because they were conceived in such circumstances? Or what about the children of parents who do other awful things? Or are all babies innocent?
It is possible to say that a certain situation is not "right" or is not "God's ideal", but we don't live in an ideal world, and things do happen that we are not prepared for or don't know how to cope with. So, how do we cope in such situations? How prepared are we to put away the text book and deal with individuals with compassion and sensitivity? Is it OK to "break the rules" sometimes?

How does forgiveness work when someone has done something that is totally, obviously wrong (a rapist)? Or has done something that is legal but we believe is wrong (a doctor in an abortion clinic)? Or has come to a different conclusion to ourselves in a moral dilemma (a woman who chooses an abortion, or the boyfriend who advises her to do so)?

In one bit in the book, one of the characters says that the situation is a perfect case where the church/Christians can show compassion, but they do not, and how can the church bring healing to a hurting world when it is too busy shooting it's own wounded?
That really made me think. What is the balance between compassion and correctness? Does it matter what the world thinks? How important is it to restore the victims and the sinners in the church as well as those in the world around us?

Jesus' compassion and love is endless, and ours gets stuck with moral dilemmas such this story (and many more). The Bible does not directly address modern situations, but the truth we live to is in there, so how do we let it out? How do we put life into the words and humanity into the theology?

I pray to God I will never be in the situation described in the book. But for now I think my answer to all this pondering is in something written by sister on our prayer-shed wall after the very worst thing she ever had to go through had happened in her life. "It might look like the devil has his way in situation/circumstances, BUT Jesus is Lord of the outcome"