Sometimes there are these hallmark moments in your life.
You know what I mean? The moment your clumsy baby rises to his feet and stands, only to take his first steps. You couldn’t have orchestrated the ordinary glory of that moment if you tried, and it’s a moment you will never forget.
Or the moment you sit in your living room with an assortment of various women, crying tears together unashamedly, communing together for one purpose.
It’s two am on a Friday morning and I’m wide awake with a grateful heart for that. But the story doesn’t start there.
What does it mean to be pro-life? I’ve been asking myself this question all throughout the summer, in the aftermath of ISIS and Planned Parenthood and the refugee crisis, thinking about all this havoc of death in our world. So much death and I’m over here asking myself, What does it mean to be pro-life?
In between picking weeds in my wanna-be garden and watering plants in those porch window boxes chipping royal blue paint, splashing in the waves at the beach and scrubbing hardwood floors and buying baby gifts for the new swarm of babies coming into the community, I’m asking myself if I really am pro-life.
Because you can have all the philosophy in the world that you want, but if your philosophy doesn’t take form in your life, it is nothing but philosophy and that means nothing.
I need something tangible. What does it mean for me to be pro-life? I want to get beyond the polls and get real. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but voting doesn’t touch people’s lives and change people’s hearts.
My sister sat in a doctor’s office this summer and had a doctor offer her an abortion. “I know abortion is real,” She said to me, “But when all of a sudden, you have someone offer you an abortion, it changes how you think about it.”
I’m staring at these pictures.
Tucked inside my sister’s skin, somewhere underneath her heart, there is a precious baby girl with a beating heart. Her name is Anja Adelle and she has been diagnosed with spina bifida.
And there are people in this world who would have willingly snuffed out her life, who would have taken her very breath, because they can and because our 21st-century mindset says that we’d be doing Anja Adelle a favor not to live.
You look at the love on that mother’s face for her child and you tell me that we’d be doing Anja Adelle a favor not to live, not to breathe, not to know the favor of a father’s blessing and the nurture of a mother’s love.
You look at the love on that mother’s face for her child and you tell me that we’d be doing Anja Adelle a favor not to see her mama’s big blue eyes smile at her.
You look at the love on that mother’s face for her child and you tell me that we’d be doing Anja Adelle a favor not to meet her brother and her sister who tell their parents, at four and two years old, that they are going to take care of their baby sister and help her.
You look at the love on that mother’s face for her child and you tell me that we’d be doing Anja Adelle a favor not to ever see the sun shine and the leaves change color and the snow fall, not to ever hear rain on the roof and the wind blowing through the trees and the melody of music.
Anja Adelle is not the one that is handicapped. We are.
If we have gotten to the place in our lives as people, where we think we’d be doing our unborn children a favor not to live, we don’t know what it means to live.
Tonight, in my little living room on North Morgan Street, candles burned and music played and a group of women gathered on a blustery October evening to celebrate the gift of Anja Adelle.
And I felt it, as the tears ran down my face, as women shared blessings of hope and prayed powerful words and spoke life to my sister and her unborn daughter, that this is what it really means to be pro-life.
Seeing every child – every person – as the fearfully and wonderfully-made gift that they are. Voting pro-life, talking pro-life and taking a pro-life stance does not necessitate that we are pro-life. We must be pro-life.
We must be the people that come alongside every mom and says, “I’m here. I’m going to be your community. I’m going to bring you a meal and you don’t have to have an immaculately clean house when I come. I’m going to be your friend, the kind of friend that’s there to give you a hug when you need to say “I CAN’T do this anymore”. I’m going to be the community that drops by your house just because – because we all need a friend and a person and a face from outside our own four walls sometimes. I’m going to be that person that will take your colicky baby from you and tell you to go on a walk for some space to breathe. I’m going to be the community that doesn’t just shower the mom with blessings for her first baby, but recognizes that every baby needs celebrated.”
If we are going to say that we are pro-life, we must be the people that do more than cast the votes and give the money. We must be the hands that serve and the feet that go. We must be the kind of community that answers yes to caring about every issue that interfaces with humanity. We must be the voice that says, “I’m here for you.”
I have wrestled deeply with my humanity this year, as my heart has wanted to do so much more than I, one person, possibly can. The reality is? I simply can’t be a good mama to my Cub, a loving wife to my Man, the personal rescuer of sex slaves, the liberator of the Isis-persecuted, the housing for refugees in crisis, the answer to all these humanitarian problems. I want to be and I can’t.
if we are the people that say yes to every life, we are the people that care about every life. We are the people touched by the horror, inspired with courage, and compelled by love to willingly, openly and unapologetically stand for every life starting in our own communities.