A letter to my fellow Sisters in Christ:
I've been reflecting a lot.
I lie awake at night for probably a good hour after my husband has begun snoring trying to figure out the solution to my problems and the world's problems.
Lately, that has been this whole Planned Parenthood scandal. How can I believe so adamantly that life begins at conception, that a beating heart and all major organs functioning at 8 weeks is so clearly a *baby,* that when a woman becomes pregnant she is "pregnant with child," and yet so many in our world say, 'eh, if that clump of cells is an inconvenience, unwanted, threat to the mother, has a birth defect, or hey, the mom just doesn't want to be an incubator, then terminate the pregnancy. Abort. Don't take away our healthcare! Our rights! Our choices!'
I cannot wrap my mind around that thinking. I just can't.
I talked for hours into the wee morning with a girlfriend who aborted her baby last year. She has never felt 'victimized' by my opinion that to abort is murder. She has never been offended. In fact, she herself knows what she did and believes the child within her was indeed 'a life.' She will say it was a baby, but can't let herself say she is/was a mother. I won't push her on this. She said that she knows in aborting her child she was killing her child, yet scrolled through all the reasons that she believed it best.
Sometimes listening and grieving with someone is best.
She knew she was trying to justify her actions, but she also knew that there was no justification good enough...she was distraught. And hurting. And in her mind, the best way to cope with that has been to acknowledge what she did, and cling to any justification she can conjure up.
I've noticed a lot in my postings both on my Facebook wall and those on the Planned Parenthood site that the argument 'it isn't a life' is extremely rare. We know far more these days with modern technology then back in the 1970s of Roe v Wade. To me, that was the argument all along. If the clump of cells within you is a life, abortion should be illegal, because it is murder. If it isn't a life, then it really isn't a big deal what you do with your own body, since another body isn't at risk. To watch these last several weeks as the pro-choice/pro-life debate rages, I've been utterly shocked that the argument 'it isn't a life' is hard to find. Instead, it is a matter of women not wanting to be incubators, people already born should matter more than people not born, and in this, this, and this scenario, it should be allowed, and, what someone else chooses to do is none of someone else's business.
I brought this up the other day. I had response after response after response on Planned Parenthood's FB page to one of my comments all offering excuses for the slaughter of the preborn children. Then I said, "not a single one of you is stating it isn't a life. Instead, you are justifying your reasons for murder."
Few people changed their tune and said, 'oh wait, but it isn't a life.' Instead, they continued giving justifications for murder.
But you know....this is where I recognized myself. Let me explain.
If you have an abortion and begin to feel great shame and guilt over your choice, what is easier? To say, "I was wrong" or to say "I am a murderer"???
Are we wanting every mother and every father who has made the choice to terminate what they have produced to say, "I'm a murderer?"
We make decisions every day to do what is right or to do what is wrong. Lots of times, it is black and white. Sometimes not. Sometimes we do something wrong but justify it for ourselves, like when we say "I'm sorry for doing ______________, BUT you did.....which caused me to x,y,z, etc." That isn't apologizing. That is blame shifting. That is wanting to do what you need to do to feel you did what you needed to do to be in the right, and then leaving the other person to realize you actually had nothing to apologize for because it is their fault in the first place. Yikes.
We don't want to admit we are wrong.
I don't want to admit I'm wrong.
When I lie, I don't want to say "I'm a liar."
In school, when I looked at that person's paper and copied that one answer, sure, I cheated. But I didn't want to say "I'm a cheater."
When we have sex outside of marriage with someone we love, or don't love, we might say "I wish we had waited," but we won't say "I'm sexually immoral."
When a husband or wife cheats, they might say, "honey, I had an affair, and it won't ever happen again," but he/she doesn't want to say "I'm an adulterer."
We like to make things seem as if we are repentant, without actually being repentant.
I'm no exception.
Somewhere, we lost our backbones and stopped taking responsibility. We have become a culture that does whatever to whomever as long as 'happiness' is the goal. In an effort to never feel stuck in any category, we've done away with labels and lost that we are all sinners.
All of us.
We are broken. Completely broken.
Either we are too weak to admit that we are terribly wrong, or we are apathetic. We just don't care.
And I don't know if we care to know if we are weak or apathetic.
I think we are running around as if it doesn't matter.
But it does.
How we treat others, what we say, what we do...it matters.
How can I say, "you are murdering millions of children!" and expect those in the world to accept the label "murderer" but I am unwilling to accept the label, 'liar.'
Christians, we need to be showing the world how to mourn our sins. We need to show the world how to repent. Being forgiven does not mean sinful apathy. We are only forgiven because Jesus went to the cross, and was beaten, mocked, crucified, for YOU! For ME. Because I am a wretched, sinful, despicable human being. The world wants to talk of a loving, gracious God that doesn't care what we personally do day in and day out. You know what? God's love and grace mean absolutely nothing without His justice and holiness and hate toward sin. What big deal is it if He loves me for being a lovable person?
No, His love is a big deal because He loves me even though I'm unlovable.
His grace is a big deal because apart from Christ, His justice would devour me.
It does matter what we do. It matters how we act. It matters if we are repentant. If we aren't repentant of our own sins, then what kind of example are we showing the world?
If we, the forgiven, those who claim to live life for Christ, are not acknowledging how utterly worthless we are apart from Christ and we aren't wholly repentant and completely dependent on Christ to save us from our lying, cheating, murderous selves, how can we expect the world to say, "what great wrong we have done to the children within our wombs!"?
May God move us to seeing ourselves clearly so that we can then be emptied and used as loving, compassionate vessels of His in this world.
Then will His Name be hallowed. Then will His fame grow. Then will we see clearly who we are, and all the more awestruck by Who He is.