the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Voice

I have been figuring how to write about this topic for some time, so I guess I am going to just jump in and see how it goes. This will not be a polished writing, but a stroll through my mind on, potentially, the great issue of our era.

I would say I have always considered myself “pro-life”. Never has it seemed humane, in my understanding, to take another’s life.  I know there are issues such as that of rape and abnormality to consider in this seemingly complicated argument, yet to determine another’s worth based on how they were conceived or what challenges they may face is not for me to determine. If I believe in the sovereignty of God then I must believe in His knowledge of this precious life and that He is well aware of its situation…whatever that entails. And by nature of being God, He is able to meet the needs of whatever challenges arise. Also, by nature of being God, He loves a forming soul & body beyond our understanding. I have always believed these things.

My stance as someone “pro-life” was something I held firmly but have not seen the need to act upon, or for that matter, even speak of often. That’s for the Catholics. I would not consider it something that prevailed in my considerations of voting.  I would not consider myself a pure “party” voter anyhow. This issue is just something I can choose and live quietly about.

But Jonan Eilam changed all that.

Since last year, walking the road we walked with him, I have understood more deeply the vulnerability of the pre-born. They have no voice. They have no strength. They have no rights. We, who are powerful…holding position, money, instruments of surgery, intelligence, reasoning; only we can give them rights. They cannot fight for them on their own. (note: we do not give them worth, God does that; even stripped from every right, their worth remains. And that being said, they actually do have strength as well, we are just too busy overpowering their strength to see it.)

I will never, in my lifetime, forget lying on the table for a level 2 ultrasound as the doctor is telling me my “options”. Her words fuzzy as wet rolled down my cheeks, simultaneous my eyes watch little legs kicking, arm flailing, heart beating… “remove the contents” she says…blah…blah…blah. Or as another doctor said the day before… “most women chose to terminate” … why does she even say that? Is it medically necessary that she say what “most women” do? Why would I make my decision because of what “most women” do anyways? Maybe Pope John Paul II was on to something when he said we live in a “culture of death”…

I did not make my decision for his life immediately, I am sorry to say. I was terrified and unsure of the road ahead, carrying a baby that was sure to die. I was scared of the physical issues that could arise for me. Uncertain I could handle the emotions. I was just scared. I had a supportive husband, church, family…and I was still scared. I cannot imagine those women who pee on the stick alone, take that pill alone, drive to the clinic…alone. And I will say that has been a “miss” on the part of the church in some ways. Picketing without providing.  It’s easy to picket and announce it is wrong, but how are we providing for the women walking that scary road? I am proud and thankful to be part of a church that host’s baby showers for those saved from the surgeon’s knife. Offering support of provision and presence. Ideally, our convictions should not turn people away, but draw them in.

But sometimes they do offend, even when we have love in our hearts. And sometimes they make people uncomfortable, and sometimes they just plain piss people off. Sometimes they will get you the title of bigot or hypocrite…But what are we going to do about it? Do we change our convictions because of this? No. But in some ways it is worse, we have turned our convictions into a chic, culturally acceptable to-each-her-own theology. As if it is right for me but not right for you to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Being Jonan’s voice was potentially the most powerful experience I will ever have outside of encountering Christ.

And is there not unknown potential in each human life, each pre-born baby? I am holding the most recent “contents of my uterus” as I type.  And not in just the “healthy” ones lies unknown potential. In his book The Power of the Powerless, Christopher De Vinck writes, “We are sacrificing the nobility of suffering to the immediate gods of pleasure. We are leaning toward the arrogance of our present comforts and reeling away from the slightest hindrance to our genteel lives.”  His brother lived a life, from birth, as what we would call a vegetable. He lived at home, cared for by his family, until he died in his 30’s…still a “vegetable”.  I highly, highly recommend this powerful read.

So, as we are now in a time unprecedented, we face a potential law, mandated by the department of Health and Human Services that require employers, all employers, to provide payment for services which their conscious and/or faith will not allow. Freedom destroyed. The media has done a great job of making this all about contraception…again, just for those Catholics, right?  But there is more to this law.  This includes abortion inducing drugs among other things. This is the first time in US history that the government is forcing religious institutions to go against their beliefs. 

Now, please understand, I am not one to go all fanatical. I do not appreciate the “scary” political forwarded emails demonizing one side of the isle. Most of the time I delete them before reading them, and when I do read them I am saddened by the lack of factual information being disseminated through Christian fingertips. But I do think there is a time and place to stand up against choices that infringe on freedom, in this case religious freedom (and if you call a woman’s freedom to choose, real freedom, please see paragraph one about the baby’s freedom.). I am fully aware that I am not making everyone my friend by writing these things, but I do think we need to be aware of what is really going on in our government and break the apathetic fog we allow ourselves into in the name of saving our own social rapport.

My church has folks on both sides of the isle, even among the clergy…but so it goes when you care deeply for the poor and for the unborn…where does that leave you politically? Following Jesus can get confusing now can’t it? J Maybe so, but it doesn’t mean we can sit out. I wish I could say I am so attuned to what is going on in our world that I learned everything on my own. I did not. Father Kevin preached an unexpected sermon two weeks ago. I have never heard something like this said at my church, or any church. But I appreciate his deeply thought-out words and his call to action. I urge you, yes urge you, to listen to it here. It is just under 24 minutes long.

Here are some other resources to read. Educate yourself:

And if you don’t think life is at stake. Read this, from an actual published medical journal. The Journal of Medical Ethics, to be exact (note: all doctors do not think this, however, this is research that has been conducted).

If you are in Illinois and wish to contact your leaders:

Let your voice be heard.

And if you really want to go off the deep end ;-) join me and thousands others this Friday, March 23rd, as people gather across the nation in defense of religious freedom. In the Chicago area we will be at 50 N. Adams St. from 12:00-1:00pm. I am sure you could find out where one in your area is happening by doing a simple search online.

Without my voice Jonan Eilam’s life would not have had the impact it did. I guess one voice does matter…

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and boldness to be a voice for the voiceless.