I never wanted this blog to become political, and I still don’t. I have AGONIZED about whether or not to post this. This is a heated topic and I’m praying that this doesn’t come across as accusatory. But this topic has bearing on my spiritual life and the questions that I’m asking myself every day. It is what I’m going through and learning right now. And I feel like I need to post it. So here we go.
My newsfeed is currently blowing up with the abortion conversation, as I’m sure all of yours are too. Actually, I’m hesitant to call it a conversation, because both sides seem to be treating it like a tennis match rather than an attempt to come to any common ground or agreement. “There’s the ball! It’s in my court! I’m going to hit it back as hard as I possibly can. If I’m lucky I’ll score a point or maybe even do some damage to the opponent.” And I’m faced with the question: what do I do here? I’d like to help, but I’m certainly in no position to start adopting babies, and (as far as I know) don’t have any friends facing this decision whom I can directly support…so how do I react as a Christian?
It’s really an extension of the questions I’ve been asking myself for a long time. What does it actually look like to love like Jesus? What exactly should I be doing in my everyday life that sets me apart as a Christian? How do I address topics such as these, where reconciliation and compromise don’t even seem possible? I’ve come up with some really odd answers to these questions over the years. From the way I acted, it seems I used to think that I needed to kind of be joyful and live the best life possible, to promote Christianity and make it look appealing or something. Or that it was in holding the standard of truth that really mattered–living according to certain moral code and adjusting those who weren’t. So far, I have not managed to be the kind of person someone would look at and say, “If she is a Christian, then maybe there’s actually something to it.” And honestly, I’ve behaved pretty horribly to some people in misguided attempts to help them. But here’s the thing: the answer has been there all along. It’s right in the Bible, kind of on repeat.
John 13:35 (ESV)
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 (ESV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
It’s love. Only love and always love. But what does that actually look like in my life? When this abortion melee began, I started asking myself that question. How does love look in this situation? Do I engage? I mean, it’s social media and highly unlikely that people will be receptive to much of anything. But it also doesn’t seem loving to not engage either. There should be some voices of love in the cacophony. (And I’m NOT intending to say that I haven’t seen any, just trying to find my specific place in this.) But what should I say? I’m not even really sure what side I’m on. I don’t think I’m on a side. I don’t think this issue is black and white. I think there are too many variables for any one legislation to cover. On the one hand, we’re talking human life versus freedom to choose. In no other situation would freedom of choice be given the preference. People cannot just going around killing people who cause them pain. On the other hand, there are obvious cases, where the mother’s life is in danger if she continues to carry the baby, to name one, where exceptions should be made. But I think dwelling on these arguments misses the point.
The point is, there are thousands of women out there who are hurting and scared and don’t know what to do. People in impossible situations. And as the people who they should be able to turn to for care and help, people who claim to live under a code of unconditional love, many Christians are failing them. We’re too busy arguing a point or trying to change a law to look individuals in the eye and say “I’ll love you no matter what. I’m here for you no matter what. I’d like to help in any way I can.” Please hear my heart here, I’m NOT trying to cast blame, and I know there are a TON of amazing Christians out there who are doing exactly right. I’ve not been one of them. And the perception of Christianity as a whole is spiraling.
Christians used to be known for our compassion. Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman empire because when plagues came to a city and everyone began to flee, Christians stayed behind to care for the sick and dying, even at the cost of their own lives. When they came across the poor and neglected, even those who weren’t their own people, they cared for them. This eventually caught the attention of others who realized that this was the one and only group who actually took good care of people, and they began to respect this God Christians worshiped and this Jesus they followed. Now we’re considered haters and Bible thumpers. And to be honest, although I don’t think I’m a hateful person, I also don’t think anyone could look at my life and dismiss the accusation out of hand based on the compassion I’m exhibiting. I want to do better. Not because I think it in any way changes the way God feels about me or my standing as His child, but because He deserves to have the very best kind of representatives out there and I want to be one of them.
So here’s the deal. This is how I can see to extend love right now. It’s not the only way and I’m not even sure it’s the right way. But it’s something. If you’re reading this, and you’re in one of those impossible situations, doesn’t have to be abortion-related, and you just need someone to listen and love and don’t have someone else you trust to do that, you can email me (so I can give you my number and actually talk to you/pray with you): email@example.com. I’m not a therapist or a counselor. I cannot fix your problems; I can’t even promise to be very good at this. But I believe that as a Christian, I have the capacity to love you and I have access to a God who specializes in impossible situations.
Luke 1: 37 (ESV)
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”