*** Originally posted on 5/8/13 ***
Rachel Held Evans sometimes takes the loose ends inside my own brain and heart and weaves them together in her blog posts. She does this in such a way that my loose ends get integrated into coherent thoughts and emotion and then suddenly I have my voice again. Every time she does this through her posts I think, “Yeah, what she said” and then I feel compelled to throw my perspective into the blogosphere. Last week Rachel dove into the issue that led me into a moderate stance politically, socially, and spiritually… and not just on the issue at hand, but really in all areas of my life. I usually avoid the issue of abortion in this age because it is deeply personal to me…though not in the way you might think. I have not ever had an abortion, but I have been up close and personal with a dear friend who has had more than one abortion. I won’t share that story because it is sacred and it is not mine. I can share what it was like to live my life walking with her through hers because it changed everything for me and I could know longer see human issues in absolutes. The world lost it’s black or white nuance and questions started surfacing about every belief I held and it happened in rapid succession.
I think our nation has lost the ability to publicly proclaim that we just don’t know the answer to some moral dilemmas in this current political and social climate. We need to stop and reclaim the truth that we are failing to let into the light on the public stage. In truth here’s how I see it:
Humanity, policy, politics, faith, science, morality, sexuality…there is mystery and unknown within each issue. On purpose. God wants us to have the freedom to discover ourselves, others, and the Creator/ Redeemer/Advocate (God three in one).
When we truly allow the light to shine over reality, it is hard to deny this one core dynamic that keeps the truth somewhat in the middle between all or nothing. The unknown, the mystery, the undefinable, the subjective. We can choose to be led by fear and deny or reject the existence of the gray. We can also instead choose to be curious and humble in the face of not knowing and be challenged to grow and let go of control.
We live in a broken world and we are a broken species…but with grace, healing and reconciliation are possible in the exact way God created this earth and humanity. The earth is hard wired to repair and restore. To use ash and decay to bring forth new life and beauty. We too are made to heal and evolve.
The most important truth I know is that Love is absolute. So no matter what the topic of conversation comes into play, love will guide my principles. Love will guide my thoughts and with the intervention of the Advocate (the Holy Spirit), love will guide my behavior.
So I proclaim… I am right smack dab in the middle with the issue of abortion. Life is precious and it is a gift. With this particular issue…both lives are a part of the equation, and in fact there are many more lives in the equation because a pregnant woman is always in relationship within community…at least in relationship with a man-the silent partner that helped her get into the situation at hand. And so everyone is affected, the issue of unplanned pregnancies does not exist in a vacuum.
I am grateful Rachel spoke up about feeling stuck in the middle. She gave me the courage to stand up and say I don’t know what is the right direction and to acknowledge that the answers are not one size fits all. I have mostly stayed silent about this issue because I am in the middle, but I cannot stay on the sidelines anymore. I stand with women who find themselves in the crossfire of the issue of pregnancy termination. I grieve with the loss of life…whether it be the new life created within her or it be the life as she knew it…or both. I see the anquish and I feel compassion. I come alongside and I pray. I can’t fix it… but I can weep with my sisters and brothers.