I have always been pro-life. To me it just never made any sense to be anything else. But, as we all do I had to come to not just believe but to know for sure where I stood on the issue, in order to truly have conviction of principle.
I had to come to an understanding of the importance of those precious innocent lives. Having nieces and nephews in my life has certainly helped. I see the hope of the future in their precious innocent eyes, hands and hearts. My mother tells a story about a friend who was being railed on for having a lot of children. The person doing the railing asked this woman how she could bring so many children into the world knowing that the planet was in danger due to overpopulation. This dear lady replied ‘with the way the world is now we need children like mine.’ The children are our best hope, and every life deserves a chance.
Perhaps the most powerful experience I have had in deepening that conviction is, as a counselor, looking into the eyes of a would be mother who has had an abortion and seeing the pain they harbor. It absolutely breaks my heart. The pain of these dear women is the untold story of the abortion issue and it goes far beyond anything physical. I will not go into any detail about those experiences because of the ethical importance of confidentiality. But, I will say that for me being pro-life is not just about the life of the baby (though that would be enough). Being pro-life is also about the life of the mother. I wish I could take that pain away. But, it is the kind that sticks around and comes back to you in untimely moments. It is the regret of empty arms and a life lost. The pain can be dealt with, but it never really leaves. The only way to cure it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Now, I'm going to go a little tangential here (which frankly is not unusual for me). I have recently finished the book Real Christianity by William Wilberforce. Please please please read this book and pass it on to others. The message is so appropriate today. Wilberforce was one of the most influential players in the fight to end slavery. It was his political life and actions which directly led to the end of the slave trade in Great Britain. If you have seen the movie Amazing Grace, you know a lot of his story. As a young man he was influenced by John Newton. Newton was at one time a slave ship captain. He eventually changed his life around and became a clergyman and authored the beloved Christian hymn Amazing Grace. Wilberforce was influenced by Newton in faith and in principle. He believed in preaching authentic Christianity. For him that meant not just saying you were a Christian and then going through the motions. It meant that you gave heart and soul to the cause of Christianity, that your life reflected Christian virtues. William Wilberforce at one time decided that he would dedicate his life to God, and questioned whether he would pursue political life at all. But, he was convinced that he could serve God and be a politician. He dedicated his political life to the ending of the abominable slave trade and to the betterment of humanity. By all accounts he succeeded in doing those things. The ending of slavery took a mammoth effort and tremendous commitment. It also took people truly living what they believe.
The issue of abortion has been related to slavery because there are quite a few parallels, which I and many others have outlined previously. We are given the message over and over again that the fight to end abortion is not worth the effort. But, the reality is it just takes the same kind of effort and commitment that it took to end slavery. And yes, I absolutely know that is saying a lot.
The time is ripe for the battle. We have our John Newton. Her name is Norma McCorvey, though most people would only recognize her as Jane Roe. She is now a strong advocate for the pro-life cause. That message should be shouted out from rooftops. But, we cannot expect the media to do that at all. I think too that we may just have our William Wilberforce, her name is Sarah Palin. I know I wrote about it just a few posts ago, but I hope many will re-watch her Right to Life Speech from last month. The woman is a living, breathing standard bearer for the pro-life movement. She is a strong Christian who I believe is absolutely authentic in her belief. She has been willing to put herself and her career on the line for her beliefs. She is someone who is dedicated to serving God and to serving her fellow beings.
That long fought for effort to end slavery needed leaders but it also needed good authentic, moral and God-fearing individuals to back it up. The same is true today. I feel like Gov. Palin is a person that has been prepared to be a leader at this time. I don't know if that means she will be the person who turns things around in the whole country. I don't know if that means she will be president at some future time, though I would dearly love that to be the case. But, I feel sure that she is going to continue to accomplish great things for the betterment of others.
One of the great leaders in the Bible is Moses. Exodus 17 tells us that during a great battle Moses was told to lift up his arms. As long as his arms were lifted the Israelites were winning the battle. As soon as they fell the tide began to turn. Eventually the Israelites, realizing this, had several of their own go and hold Moses' arms up for him. This eventually led to the victory.
I feel like this is part of the job for all of us who want to follow in the noble cause for life. We should never let the brave leaders of the fight like Sarah Palin fight alone, in fact we should be there helping her hold her arms up. I acknowledge the efforts of so many that support Governor Palin. Those who are already doing that, like the ordinary barbarians at www.conservatives4palin.com(my favorite site of late), keep being who you are. For those who believe in life it is time to stand up and let your voice be heard. Live what you believe.
Life is worth saving, life is worth fighting for. I feel like at least for me it is not enough to simply not participate in abortions. I think we need to raise our voices especially now when we have a president who is the most pro-abortion president ever. I hope nobody thinks I am making a call to arms here. William Wilberforce led a fight to end slavery that did not include a Civil War. I think the same can be done here. People need to be willing to stand strong and firm in words and in actions.
The Time is Ripe. I know the fight is going to be long. But, with strong leadership and strong unity it is possible. Stand up for life, the life of innocent children, and the women who carry them. God bless.