Friday, October 28, 2016

Pro-Life or just Anti-Abortion?

(I'm not going to get into politics because that's not what this is about--it is about SO much more than that.)

As a woman this is what I mean when I say I'm pro-life, and as a Christian, this is what I mean.  And as an American, and global citizen this is what I mean.  I would venture to guess that I am not the only one who feels this way....and by that, I mean I SURE hope I'm not.  If we say we are pro-life it needs to mean so much more than just being against abortion, we need to stand up for all life and that starts with us loving our neighbors.

  • I am pro-life because I recognize that life begins at conception.  Which does mean I am against all abortions.   "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  Psalm 139:13-14
  • I am also pro-life because I recognize that everyone has been made in the image of God and has inherent value.  That is an all inclusive everyone, not just people who look like me, act like me, are related to me or have the same faith as me.  I mean everyone regardless of: color, race, gender, creed, religion, ability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc... has value! "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”" Genesis 1:27-28
  • I am pro-life because every life matters,  We are each unique and one of a kind.  (And if you were still wondering, yep, I still think that All lives matter, but they can't all matter until Black Lives Matter.)   Just as each snowflake is unique and no two are alike, that is how each person is.  There has never been anyone like you who looks like you, thinks like you and has the talents that you have.  No one has ever sounded just like you, or done the things you do.  You are not a mistake or a duplicate.  You are the only you there will ever be.  And so is every person you meet.  The cashier at the quick service restaurant, the clerk at 7-11, the head honcho on Wall Street, the kid down the street, your neighbor, the person in the mugshot on the front page of the paper, the orphan, your spouse, and so on.  Every person is unique and they matter.
So, maybe now you are understanding more what I mean when when I say that I'm pro-life.  I mean exactly that.  I am pro-all-life.  I am for unborn children.  I am for women.  I am for men.  I am for the LGBT community.  I am for Americans.  I am for the people of the world.  I am for those who are poverty stricken.  I am for the middle class.  I am for the wealthy.  I am for Muslims.  I am for Christians.  I am for Atheists.  etc...I am for all life, when it begins to when it ends.  I am not saying that I agree with or approve of everything that everybody does.  But that's not what this is about.  

It really all boils down to loving your neighbor.  Even if you don't agree with what I believe.  Even if you don't agree with everything I've written.  Can we all agree to try to love our neighbor?  This looks different for everyone.  It may mean your actual neighbor, and it also may mean your fellow church-goer, or your co-worker, or the random person you see in line behind you at the _____(grocery store, coffee shop, whatever).  This means that we need to step up and put love into action.  

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

I think it's easy to say "pro-life" or "anti-abortion" and not really do anything about it.  I challenge you, if you are pro-life, to help.  Maybe it is helping a single-mom with child-care, a pregnant woman with options like choosing to mother or choosing to place.  Maybe it is adopting domestically, internationally or from the foster system. Maybe it's helping at a local homeless shelter, pregnancy resource center or boys and girls club.  Maybe it is donating time, money or goods to one of those above or another organization that helps people in need.  Maybe it is by taking a smaller step, and change the way we think about others and watching what jokes we say to make sure we aren't being racist or propagating stereotypes.  We need to love on our neighbors and by doing so, we take a stand for life.  

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:9-11

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