As a fellow March for Life-goer myself, I was beyond amazed at how many people were at the March this year, just as I am every year. This is my 7th or 8th March; I even survived the Blizzard of 2015, which was big for my crew from Alabama. But there was something special about this year. I’m not sure if it felt like more people attended, or we just happened to be packed like sardines wherever my feet led me, but this was definitely a BIG showing of the pro-life community. [Check out the time lapse here.]
Props where props are due.
But this year for me was different.
You see, I don’t remember when it happened or who I was inspired by, but I know the Holy Spirit worked really hard on a certain deadened area of my heart after last year’s March. And it actually was a place that I thought I was very much alive. It was the place where I called myself “pro-life.”
To the majority of pro-life individuals, being pro-life means opposing abortion and euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and the like…but let’s be real, it’s mostly abortion. Being pro-life means standing up and letting your community know that abortion is never going to be acceptable (it, by definition, is an objective evil) and praying for the unborn. And Lord help me if you read this letter and take away that I’m saying that’s not a part of the pro-life movement. It’s a very essential part of the movement, but it’s just that. It’s just a part.
I think we sometimes get swept up in the drama of the abortion conversation because it’s such an inherent evil that truly does deserve 99.972% of our time and efforts. I think we sometimes get hyperfocused on kicking Satan out of the “women’s health movement.” I think we become incredibly sensitive to the entire narrative of the pro-life movement to being centered around abortion (and notice that even the “Women’s March” narrative has conformed to that topic as well).
But there’s more. There’s so much more.
Through a lot of prayer and deep thinking, I’ve come to believe that if we don’t allow ourselves to look at what the pro-life movement has to do with our every day lives, our individual relationships, our personal encounters—then, we’ve missed the point.
And I believe that with every fiber of my being.
Being pro-life, by definition, is to respect the life of another person by virtue of only their dignity and worth, and to call on others to give that respect as well. Let me simplify: if you’re “pro” something, then you are “for” it. So to be pro-life is to be “for life.” And as Christians, we know that dignity and worth comes from being made in the image and likeness of God.
So, my friends, that respect, that dignity and worth, is due to every person.
So, instead of just being for “life” in general, it really means are in favor of “his life,” of “her life.”
So, when the homeless man on the street wants cash and you know he’s only going to buy drugs instead of food, he deserves your respect because of his human dignity.
And when that “idiot politician” gets back on TV and says something to condemn Truth, that individual deserves your respect as a human being with Christ’s imprint on their heart.
And when the vocal trendsetters call for the MAGA-hat wearing kids to burn down inside their school, whether we feel like it or not, if we are going to call ourselves pro-life, none of them deserve to have the tables turned on them with a retort to “burn in Hell.”
Our responsibility is to Life, that is, Jesus Christ. He tells us to love our enemy as well as our neighbor. And if we aren’t up for that, then if we really think about it, we really shouldn’t call ourselves pro-life…or maybe even disciples of Christ.
My brothers and sisters, I know this is a hard teaching. This is what broke my heart after attending the March last year… The Holy Spirit handed me a mirror after this revelation and said: “so now what?” I had to face myself and ask myself that question: was I really respecting the life of everyone? Or just the ones that made me comfortable or didn’t challenge me too much.
It goes all the way down into our individual relationships: are we pro-HIS-life when he steals that parking spot and we curse him under our breath because we’re frustrated? Are we pro-HER-life when she will not quit posting about her “perfect life”, and you gossip about her to your friends? Are we pro-THEIR-lives when we see people who think differently than us making decisions we know we wouldn’t make and condemn them without love or even a second thought?
No. No we are not.
I hope the March for Life fueled you for a fight to change the culture this year. Because legislation changes are necessary, and abortion clinics shutting down are gifts.
But nothing will truly change if hearts aren’t changed.
Start with your own. Where do you need a heart transplant by the Divine Physician? What areas of your relationships need healing by our mercy-filled Father? And how can you inspire the people around you to start making those changes in their lives?
Here’s a touch of insight into my own conversion: I have long struggled with lowkey gossiping: mostly sharing with people things I probably don’t need to share. I have made an intentional effort, grounded in Christ, to prevent myself from sharing other people’s business as well as changing the conversation when people gossip to me.
It’s not time consuming, it’s not difficult, it just takes a little Holy effort.
So what can you do?
Help me, brothers and sisters, to change the heart of our world. Souls are at stake, including our own.
Just a Southern girl hoping to make a difference