Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reflections on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

What does it mean to be pro-life?

For me, it means I vote in every possible election in my district, with the primary consideration being the candidates' position on moral issues.  Not the economy or foreign policy; not their business experience or endorsements.  Those are secondary.  What I care about most: which candidate will do the most to protect and value human life?

It means I actively support my local Pregnancy Resource Center, through my time and finances.

It means I sign petitions and participate in respectful, gracious public demonstrations.  I contact my elected representatives about related issues.  I choose health care sharing instead of medical insurance.

But being pro-life means so much more.

It means I volunteer in my church's nursery on a regular basis.  I wipe noses and I wipe bottoms; I read books aloud and go to great and goofy lengths to make the new toddler giggle.

It means I go out of my way to spend evenings with an elderly, home-bound friend.  I listen to her stories even though I've heard them before.  I do her laundry and her errands.

It means I seek out employment where I can directly serve other people, improving their quality of life.  Currently, that means helping people obtain better vision.  My favorite cases are the children from low-income families who, through a philanthropic program, are able to receive their first pair of glasses.  Their faces light up when they realize what it is to see shapes, colors, and faces with clarity for the first time.

It means I try to stay informed on human trafficking, sex slavery, unjust imprisonment, child labor, government-enforced one-child policies, and the rise of Christian martyrdom around the world.  I refuse to give into my desire to remain ignorant of these ugly facts.  I weep when I encounter stories of injustice.  To the best of my ability, I boycott businesses who do not properly address these issues.

It means I support the men and women who serve in my country's military, placing themselves in harm's way to preserve the life of freedom I enjoy.

It means I send money every month to missionaries who are faithfully serving their communities in Asia and South America, sharing the life-giving Word of God in places characterized by poverty and persecution.

It means I choose to live in a place far from family and familiarity, to serve a cause bigger than myself: spreading the message of God's grace that leads to eternal and abundant life for all who believe.

And it means I pray to a sovereign God for others' needs, physical and spiritual, when they are made known to me.

Are any of these actions extraordinary?  Nope; lots of people do them.  Could I be doing more?  I'm sure.

But don't miss the point.  Being pro-life is not merely a "right-wing" political stance.  It is a fundamental worldview that touches every aspect of life.  When you believe in the inherent value of each and every human from conception through eternity, every decision you make, every action you take will be driven by it.

Nor is it an original idea.  My Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead, embraced children, protected women, and went so far as to lay down His own precious life that you and I might be made alive forever.  Without ever signing a petition or endorsing a political candidate, He is the ultimate pro-life activist.  May our lives be patterned after His.

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."  John 10

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