Let’s be real here. The last few months around the world have been a little crazy. A “little” is actually an understatement. Amidst the confusion and chaos there have been a lot of feelings both good and bad as well as a lot of things to consider. I’ve been trying to put thoughts to word for months. As the conversations & debates around me swirled I kept coming back to my pro-life stance and began to consider what that actually meant. It had always been easy to consider myself pro-life because I do believe that there is a living baby inside the womb who cannot speak for itself. The issue is unique in that regard. The issue of life is a bit more complicated. I began to think that if I am really for life, then it would be disingenuous to consider only one stage of life.
If I am pro-life though, then I am for life. Period.
Life outside the womb too. What about the life of the woman carrying the baby? Or the life of the child alone in a house devoid of affection? Or the life of the homeless man I see every morning? Or the life of the family living here to escape violence in their home country? Or the life of the boy who just can’t seem to fit in with his friends? Or the life of the convict? Or the drug addict? The list became never ending. All of these are lives too. Lives that have the ability to speak for themselves but so often seem to be ignored or cast aside. Yes, our choices in life have consequences both good and bad. Our choices do not dictate the value of our life.
Life is valuable. I believe that. I believe that each life has been created & loved by God thus sacrificed for in the form of his son. Because each life is valuable. Each life has dignity.
If I am for Christ, then I am for life.
How often do I contradict myself in this though? Not necessarily in action (although at times, yes), but in speech and thought. I hear it all the time. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it too. In a conversation about someone’s characteristics or actions, saying, “I hate that kind of person” or “people like that”. It may feel or seem like any other statement in a conversation but it is strong. This is demeaning to the dignity and value of said “type of person’s” life. Our thoughts lead to our speech and our actions. We will not all agree on the right kind of speech or action in any given situation but we don’t have to hate and demean each other in our disagreement.
We have the ability to respect life while still holding to our convictions.
Regardless what you believe about how life came to be or when it starts I hope we can all agree that each life is valuable. It is worth something. It has dignity.
Perhaps this could help me. Perhaps it could help you. Perhaps it could help all of us treat each other a little better.
I sometimes think about my own life and “what could have been”. If someone hadn’t seen value in the lives of a 12 year old boy & 14 year old girl. If someone hadn’t been willing to step into the mess that is a murder trial, fostering & guardianship, and all the emotional in betweens including the raging hormones that accompany pre-adolescence. It would have been pretty easy to let Matthew and I stay in foster care. To ignore the reality of our situation. To forget us. We would have probably had a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, and food in our stomachs. Nobody had to step in. Yet, someone did. A few somebody’s actually, 6 to be exact. They did what was neither required nor expected of them and took in two additional kids. We are better for it.
Someone saw the dignity and value in our lives, despite the mess surrounding them.
The mess. Oh, the mess.
It seems things are bit of a mess right now. I think it’s safe to say our current environment is turbulent. Systems are so broken and disagreements are turning violent. It seems, in our disagreement we’ve lost sight of each other as people, as lives. As living, breathing, human beings. There seems to be a given hierarchy of worthiness based on characteristics & beliefs. Here’s the thing: the dignity and value of a person’s life is never dictated by age, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, citizenship status, social status, current circumstance, or any other characteristic. No life will ever look the same and that’s a wonderful thing. If we thought of each other as people first, I wonder if we’d better manage our disagreements and have fruitful conversations.
“Life is crazy”. There’s a reason it’s said so often. It’s true. It’s wild and not always full of rainbows and unicorns. It doesn’t mean life has to be awful or full of unrest either.
I am for life because I believe it is a unique and albeit messy at times, beautiful creation. I am for life because if I am in Christ then I am called to love others, be a peacemaker, care for the downcast and the outcast. To treat others as I would like to be treated. To remind myself, and others there is hope in and beyond our current circumstance.
*I realize this is a bunch of words. Words are great. They are not everything. I think another part of being for life is being involved with it. So, I will be researching & getting involved with some organizations here in Nashville that support, care for people & dignify their lives.*