A letter to protestors…

Abortion has been in the news lately. The march in Washington just last week. The anniversary of Roe vs Wade. 44 years?  People protesting abortion. Those fighting for the right to have one and those fighting for the rights of the unborn.  There’s something glaringly missing though. I saw on Facebook a bunch of people saying things like “I’ll take your baby, I’ll give him or her a good home. I’ll love your child as if it was my own.” Admirable but still missing the point. Do people really believe that abortion is that mother’s first choice? And exactly what are you going to do while that mother waits to deliver her child to give to you? Will you provide the prenatal care she needs? Will you provide for the counseling, the training, the life skills she needs to make it in this world. Or, in your blindness, have you completely missed the tragedy that she experiences. Have you even stopped to consider that you never wanted her, the mother?  Sure, you’ll take her baby but what about her? Will you love her and show her God’s grace?
Have you bothered to find out how she came to decide to terminate her pregnancy, to kill off a piece of her being, to take away a part of her very soul? Do you honestly think she has taken this decision lightly? Seriously. What will you do to show that you can love her as much as the baby? Do you think turning her away once she gives you her precious infant will help her?
In all of the tragedy of losing the life of a baby people have forgotten the tragedies that lead up to it. If you really want to make a difference then maybe you should step in before abortion is even an option. Maybe you should mentor a young lady or young man. Maybe you could help the men to learn how to treat a woman right. Maybe you could teach the girls how they should be treated. These people, these potential mothers and fathers, they are your sons and daughters that need your love. They are not baby factories to deliver an unwanted infant into your arms. They are human beings just like you. By the time abortion is a question they are lost, they have no support, they have no one to be their cheer leader. They are alone and they are trying to do everything in their power to make a better life.
Think about it! What would it be like! What would it feel like? What would have to go so wrong in your life that you thought you could never be a mother or have a baby?  What if everything any one ever told you was that you were worthless, that you have no value? What do you think? Do you even think? Do you really know what it’s like? Have you been raped? Have you been beaten? Have you? Have you lived in the ghetto? Have you had to wonder when or if you’ll eat again?  Have you gone hungry so that your family could eat only to find yourself pregnant again? Do you have any idea why abortion continues? It’s because the options are not there.
You can blame all you want. You can think you are better than them. You can think you would never, could never, get an abortion. But until you have walked in their shoes and until you have had to choose between your own life and theirs, then just stop. Stop and think. If you really hate abortion and if you really think it is wrong then maybe you could direct your efforts to making it unnecessary rather than making the parents wrong.  Get out of your comfort zone, get off of your throne and walk with them, talk with them, love on them. Help them.  Be with them and take them under your wing as if they are your own children. All of them. If you hate abortion then do something productive about it. Protesting doesn’t work, be constructive rather than destructive. If you want to make a difference then change the lives of those who need your help and help them to create a life where they will never need to wonder how to live through an abortion. Do something before the tragedy starts.
And for those whom already suffered from abortion, for those still breathing, hold them and love them. Show them compassion and help them to find peace. Help them to want to live again. Do not call them murderers, do not throw them in the ditches. Do not curse them. Love them. Love every bit of them and help them heal.
Think. There would be no need for abortion clinics if there were people out there willing to do the hard thing, willing to stop pointing the blame somewhere else. Think. Are you willing to turn your perfect life upside down? Are you willing to be a parent to a young teen in need? Are you willing to teach your own children how to treat others well? Are you willing to stop poverty? Are you willing to give from all you have to even change one person’s life? If each and every protester took just one young adult and gave that one person the love and attention and life that they need, what amazing things could be accomplished!
Abortion is a tragedy but it isn’t the only one and it isn’t even the worst one. The true tragedy is that there is a need at all. The tragedy is that no one has stepped up to show that one beautiful girl that she is worth fighting for. The tragedy is that no one is willing to actually put their money where their mouth is. Life is valuable, all life. The life of the girl before she ever gets pregnant, the life of the boy before he ever has sex.  But I said all life is valuable and that includes the ones who walk away from the clinic without their child. That includes the ones in the clinics too.  It includes the lost baby as well.  Do not think you will ever win by making someone wrong. No. These mothers and fathers who lost their children, even these. Their lives are valuable as well. If you manage to show them that then maybe, just maybe, they will be courageous enough to speak and, maybe, then you will make a difference.
Do you think any will speak to you if you accuse? No. Let people know you by your love instead. So many more voices could be heard if you just listened. If you just heard their cries, if you could feel their despair, if you could really help, then thousands of women and men would flock to your cause.  Give them their voices back. Help them to stand again. Carry their weight with them and help them to mourn.
This world is such that if you lost a child after birth then everyone jumps up to help, but, if you lose one because of abortion you have no burial, you have no obituary, you have nothing left except a secret and that secret kills you. Show mercy.  Give them their voices back, let them weep and hold them while they cry. You do not know what evils they’ve had to face. You do not know what demons are on their shoulders. Get over yourself and get dirty and do the hard things and learn to love.

me

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The Beginning of Peace

I’ve been writing almost constantly.  I’ve been confronted with my past and I am finally in a position to look at it more closely.  My life is an amazing life.  I have had opportunities given me that most have never seen.    I have lived in different countries, known different cultures.  As a child I was given the room to explore and to learn.  Nothing was denied me.  Sure, I wasn’t given things, but I was encouraged to think and to never give up. I was encouraged that if I wanted something bad enough that there wasn’t any reason I couldn’t work my way there.  Everything was possible.  I was allowed to believe that I could be anyone I wanted to be.  I could be the president or the carpenter, all I had to do was believe in myself and to never ever give up.  My parents let me learn what I needed to learn.  They always gave me encouragement to try new things.  Yet they always encouraged honesty above all us.  If I was to do or be something I was to do it with integrity.  They gave me all that they could give me.  But in the process they gave me freedom.  The freedom to make mistakes too.  Unfortunately the freedom they gave was to a child.  A child who didn’t have the ability to always make the right decisions.  And so I made a bunch of bad ones.  Now, three decades later, some of these things have decided that their time has come….

Our bodies have a way of getting what they want, either that, or they just quit.  If we don’t feed ourselves they yell, if we don’t drink enough they slow down.  If we constantly ignore them they finally begin to scream, it may take years before you hear it but they do.  They scream.  My body’s screaming finally became loud enough that I couldn’t hear anything else.  So, given the support structure I have already designed for other reasons, I decided to take the time to listen.  I decided to speak my secrets quietly and authentically.  I decided to face my demons head on.  I really thought that I could handle it.  I was right, but not like I expected.

Demons.  What exactly are demons?  The Frank Perretti books show demons as physical beings that cannot be seen.  Physical beings that if you could see them look just like the pictures in story books with their ugly faces, wings, and talons.  These demons would attack someone who was a threat to their king.  They would literally hook their talons into the skin of the backs and shoulders of those who needed to be stopped.  These demons would fight over the souls of the saved and would whisper in their ears discouragement and lies.  They would whisper things like, “you aren’t good enough”, “murderer”, “you have no right”, “you are stupid”, “they don’t love you”, “you are worthless”…. on and on until their prey would fail and quit and so no longer be a threat any longer.  These demons only have power because they are unnamed and unrecognized for what they are.  Their names are Fear, Blame, Guilt, Hate, Murder.  They have no real power because of their lies.  The person they are attached to is a threat because they know they have no real power.  The only power a demon has is in its secrecy.  Once a demon has been known it can no longer keep hold of its victim.  The victim, though, is weak and must heal or the demons will come back.

Some of my demons are Blame, Hate, Anger and Fear.  These and I have had so much time together they seem like old friends.  I know them better than I know myself.  Their talons have been in my flesh for so long that the wounds that they made are festering.  As such, my body has been screaming and now I can finally hear it.  For every bad there is a good.  If this weren’t true I would be doomed.  The angels fight and when recognition comes they gain power and so their fight has finally turned in their favor.

For all of these years the demons have been whispering into my ears and the angels have been yelling to be heard.  They have been yelling so that I would hear the truth instead of the lies.  These little thoughts that run across my mind, things like. “I can do this,” “Be gentle with yourself”, “trust your gut”, “believe in yourself”, “you have permission to cry”, “permission to be still”, “permission to love”, “permission to say no”… each of these was countered by my demons.  I could hear them both.  For so long, though, the whispers of the demons were so much louder than the shouts of the angels.  The demons’ whispers would use my life’s evidence against me.  The demons would scare away those who I wanted to lean on.  Or they would convince me that I was not worth the effort.  The only choice I could make was to quit.  I quit listening to my heart, quit listening to my soul, quit feeling, quit thinking and tried to forget.  In self-defense, I quit.  I may have quit but the angels never did, and somehow I heard again.  Somehow I felt the possibilities of peace and of hope like a whisper, like a breath of fresh air.  This whisper was different, this one was not scary.  These whispers started to grow in my stomach and have, little by little, gained strength.  They gained just enough strength to let me believe that I could be authentically me, that I could actually face my demons.

Ah, demons don’t like to be shrugged off.  In my naivety I thought I could handle what I started.  In my naivety I thought it would be easy.  I spoke truth and my body shook like a dry leaf in the wind.  The fires of hell found me and began to sear at my body.  My entire being has been put in the coals and as I try to continue, I find that I still have the strength to write.  And so I write.  Facing my demons on paper is only slightly better than facing them in person.  My demons are furious and hungry.  They fly around me and stab me with their talons, scratching me and scarring me.  They are the ones yelling now and they will not win.

me

To think or not to think

There truly is so much wonder out there. And people just live their lives on autopilot, missing the most minute of miracles. I wish I could share my vision, my love of life and of others. I mark the birds in the field when I drive by, the hawks in the sky, the sunset and sunrise, the beauty in the clouds, the fog, the amazing intricacy of life itself, down to the tiniest of atoms up to the giant expanse of the galaxies… how can so many people not see these things? Even the simplest of sounds, water rushing by, waves on a beach, soup sizzling in a pot… these things are miracles. How come no one is amazed like I am? My children have some of this, true. One keeps finding out amazing new things and wants to tell me about them, yet I am not amazed because they are not new to me. He gets frustrated that I already know these things. I don’t want to dampen his spirits, his spark. How many really sit and think? True, I spend a lot of time avoiding thinking about some things but I do spend time on things that don’t go there. To know that you are thinking is being sentient? Is it when you began to think? Or is when you begin to know that you were thinking? Do people still think? Does the world feel this raw and new to everyone else? I don’t think it does. It feels as if all of my neurons are on, all of the time. My own beautiful chaos. Wrapping around itself, weaving in and out of the files that I have… I do have an amazing mind. The spiraling in and out of memories and then the complete noticing of what runs through… No wonder I have a hard time paying attention! People speak so slow, read so slow, I’ve already traveled through time over and over again in a sentence. Is there no one like me? There are many I’m sure. But if you are like me you don’t let others know. Can we not just go back to the purity of youth? Let us see the newness of life through untainted eyes. What are your thoughts my dear reader?

me