Monday, June 6, 2016

No Matter How Small

My children do not yet know what abortion means.
I am dreading the day they find out.
They will be heartbroken.
Why would anyone kill their own baby?

I remember when I first found out. I was profoundly saddened and outraged. I remember that for a season, it was the hot topic to debate in speech class. And I also remember when people began to tire of hearing about it, on both sides of the fence.

They were hushed.

I've stayed pretty quiet on issues of today. Not wanting to alienate. Wanting to be understanding. Realizing I don't have everything figured out. Realizing I can't be so black and white.

But in raising my kids, I've also come to re-value when it's time to just speak plainly. To have the courage to say "It's wrong".

It's wrong to kill babies.

Who would have thought it would take courage to make a statement like that?

I think maybe in part because of who "it" was. Who it is. A huge monster that took on the appearance of our friends and sisters and ourselves that we didn't know how to fight.

Why would anyone kill their own baby?
The answers are numerous. Deemed complex.

How must children get these conflicting messages...children should be invested in...children deserve better...women should get to chose whether or not the humans within live or die....children should be protected....children might be a mistake....children may not be born with the correct genitals....children can't get tattoos or drink till their older....children are mature enough to have their own abortions....children can choose. children can't choose.

The answer my children, your children will hear, will nag at them. It did me.
Their sense of self worth and the worth of their children
Begins to hinge on the answer to the question,

Does your life matter if it inconveniences mine?

Despite the fear, the injustice, the inconvenience

I know I will say, as I have always said
'You child, are a gift. Every child is a gift.'

It is not a choice that should be given to extinguish
It is a murderous evil that has gone largely unchecked
It is vile and sad and horrifying

We are killing ourselves.

Of even more bewilderment to me are the doctors and nurses who kill the babies. They are not the ones who feel trapped or have been left to make this decision on their own. They come to work. They do not have an emotional connection to what is happening. They go home to their own children. Do they take maternity leave? What kind of insane compartmentalizing is happening here?

I remember sitting in "Horton Hears a Who" when Clover was just a few weeks old and found a lump growing in my throat during the rising chant, "A person's a person no matter how small." I wasn't expecting this children's narrative to take such a simple and obvious stand against a mother's right to choose. I don't even know if it was what Dr. Seuss originally had in mind. Yet I cried nonetheless. And then I had these heavy thoughts as I picked up my daughter's carrier and maneuvered through the theater aisle to the exit.

We teach our children not to kill. To be responsible. And then we teach them when it's ok to kill. And that bad people get punished for killing the innocent. But not always. Because sometimes, we are the bad people.

Let me be clear. I am not throwing stones. I was one of the young ones given a choice to swallow a life stopping pill just in case my future was threatened by inopportune timing. I wish I hadn't even had a choice. All I knew as a kid was fear of getting in trouble. Eventually, had I not taken that pill I would have seen on the other side- grace. But I didn't know.

We say "It gets better" to those struggling with gender and identity and sexuality. But why does it get better?

We say it's get better because growing older is half the battle. Usually the older you get you see how life offers the most unexpected twists and turns, and they aren't all bad and they most certainly are not all predictable. We say it gets better because we realize that part of feeling normal and surviving happens when we find our true friends and are accepted by either a nominated family or our biological family. We find community. That's part of the amazing component to making it that the LGBTQ have going for them, they offer an instantaneous, all accepting, far reaching community.

Can't we say to the young teenage mom, 'It gets better'? Can we be ready to offer instantaneous, all accepting community? Do we know how to be there if they chooses to give their child up for adoption? Can we sit in the emotional trenches of parenthood alongside them, can we celebrate the joys with them?

Can we offer legitimate hope to the mother and family swamped by financial stressors, who cannot even begin to imagine how they would go about caring for one more mouth to feed? Can we help continue to guide and encourage them as they struggle to figure it out?

Can we speak with confidence about our God who provides? Who wroughts abundant life from sacrifice? Who redeems time and dreams? Who gently leads the mothers of the young? Who has plans for and loves and knows well both mother and baby and wants to give good gifts to them both?

Can we offer grace? Can we offer hope?

I want to be part of the solution. I do not want to sit idly by. I do not want my kids to find out about this practice of abortion and look at me and wonder if my inaction meant it was not that big of a deal.

We have had teenage and unwanted pregnancies in my family. Quite a few actually. We've had a few such pregnancies in our church community too. I wonder as I sit here reflecting if we have done enough? Baby showers and hand me downs are helpful, but are we really helping beyond the superficial?


The article below by Ann Voskamp outlines a great way to be part of a proactive effort to support all human beings, whether in-utero or out.

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