Thank the Lord I didn't know what I was saying yes to... because I never would have had the courage to start in the first place. I would not have said yes if I had known.
I'm going to say first that the work which our family has once again been called to do is pro-life. I want to quickly add that pro-life action is never just about an "issue" but really encompasses the entirety of our faith. It is about conversion. We are not just people who do pro-life work but people who are trying to fully live out Christian calling. We begin by seeing the facts of the matter, that abortion ends a human life, and then as we continue to grow in our love of the defenseless and voiceless (because we are all equal in dignity in the sight of God), we step nearer and nearer to the compassionate and merciful heart of Christ.
At the end of this weekend, during which I had the privilege to hear and meet many modern pro-life heroes, I spoke with a woman who looked me in the eyes and told me this: "My life has changed forever. I was pro-life before but I didn't understand how shallow my love was. I see now that I cannot go back to my life the way it was before because God asks more of us than a tepid devotion to love. I owe Him so much more. But it is going to be uncomfortable."
Yes. Uncomfortable. Enemy territory really. The very heart. Abortion is not an "issue" but a direct attack on the dignity of love and life. If we decide to step up to the front lines of this battle, we will indeed find that we have stepped into a hornet's nest.
I'm not going to tell you the full details of the difficulty of my week because it will go on longer than a blog post should. What I will tell you is that we have said yes to leading a great pro-life undertaking in our area and have been reminded that following God's will indeed stirs up those who hate it....
Grace, grace, and more grace. A terrible week. A beautiful week. God is infinite love and never stops calling us deeper. If I am comfortable where I am, I am not moving toward Him. I remembered that this week. As I lay in bed exhausted and anxious at night, I started my prayers with "I. do. not. want. this. anymore. I want to wake up and find it gone. Find someone else." I ended with the grace and courage to embrace the sacrifice for the sake of love. Not on my courage or strength at all... but a gift of Divine Love.
Christ did not come so that we might be made comfortable for our days on earth. We are called, like St. Peter, to step out of the boat into the sea. When God calls us out of our boats, He doesn't want to wait for us to measure the depth of the sea, the height of the waves, the temperature of the water, and the odds of our untimely demise. He wants us to get out of the boat. Now. And walk forward with our eyes on Him.
I had the privilege of meeting Michael Voris this weekend and hearing him speak. I found him extremely genuine and his presentations compelling. His words on vigilance have stuck with me and I have been clinging to them. I'm paraphrasing and patching together but still extremely close to his original since I faithfully took notes...
There is no reprieve from the fight in this life. We get a break when we die. When we step away from the fight, evil rushes in. The opponent is relentless. We can't spend our lives waiting for the perfect moment or being "ready to go" when that moment comes. The time is now. In 50 years, most of the adults present here will be dead. Then we will rest. Now is not that time.
We listened to Lila Rose talk about her decision as a teenager to give her life entirely to ending abortion and abuses against human rights. We saw Shari Rigby's tears as she talked about how God brought her healing through her role in October Baby. Mercy, mercy, mercy. We watched as Bryan Kemper talked passionately to the youth about what it really means for them to call themselves pro-life and how to walk that difficult path against the culture of death. I was present as my son took to the podium and called the young people present to become minutemen in the defense of the sanctity of life.
Deeper conversion. Closer to the heart of Christ. Fighting the evil of abortion is not an "issue" but a commitment to radical love.
This is one of those moments when I wonder if more than four people actually read my blog... and one of the only moments I actually care if people do. And I feel small and helpless and completely convicted that regardless of who is listening, I must never, never stop bringing these topics up.
God, in His infinite wisdom, does not show most of us our crosses in advance. Thanks be to God! If He did, I would never get out of bed... never step out of the boat... never have those near drowning experiences like Peter the apostle. And never, never know the depths of love and grace and mercy to which I am called.
God is mighty and marvelous. And we are His beloved children. Let us do His work faithfully with every gift and ounce of energy that He has given... and grow ever closer to His beautiful heart.
Our pictures from the weekend aren't uploaded yet, but I can offer you a powerful synopsis of the purpose of this past weekend....