Roe v. Wade
I'm not going to spew anger.
I'm not going to shout victory.
I'm not going to do anything other than share all my mixed-up, nuanced, complicated feelings.
This is scary.
But it's oh so necessary.
The day I drove my friend and sat in the waiting room of the abortion clinic when we were just 19 was one of the worst days of my life.
I felt guilt-ridden.
And still do much of the time.
I felt like I needed to be there because I was her best friend.
And I did.
We were young.
She was dirt poor so I paid for it (with money stolen from a petty cash drawer at work).
Her dad would have beaten her up if he found out she was pregnant. She had been abused all her life.
It was all awful.
From start to finish.
The times I sat around in prayer groups pleading with God to end abortions and preserve babies were powerful.
I felt enraged.
And wanted justice for those who had no voice.
I blamed irresponsibility, murderous hearts, downright evil.
I never marched, but cheered those who did.
I prayed and voted.
And preached, "Prolife! Prolife!"
Perhaps I needed to.
To assuage my own guilt.
To pay for my part in all of it.
Shame secretly ate me up inside.
No one could know my story.
Certainly not those in my prayer group.
That day 21 months ago while I pruned my bushes, wrecked over how I would vote, I sobbed and this time, prayed alone.
God, I hate all of this.
I hate that the poor have little to no support, leaving them facing the worst decision of their life.
I hate the ranting on social media on both sides, hostility spewing from my screen.
I hate that I have no idea what to do with all the messy confusion in my own heart about it all.
God, I hate all of this.
Some shouted "God is on our side! We've finally won!"
Some cried, "Where is God? I'm so afraid now."
I wanted to shut it all down. Turn it off.
Why does this keep happening?
Instead of fighting for each other, we fight against each other.
Instead of leaning in and listening to the suffering and the sorrow of the shattered hearts on "the other side," we stand "firm," ears shut and minds made up.
Instead of the harder Jesus way of love and kindness and gentleness and patience and goodness and self-control and peace and joy, we do it the easy, angry, bitter, us/them way.
Why does this keep happening inside of me?
Last night, I didn't sleep very well.
Bumbling along with all of these thoughts, racing and slowing, fitful dreams about protests and fear over what all this means once again for me, my family, my neighbors, the poor, the privileged, our ever-hurting country, and especially the woman faced with worst, most unthinkable decision of her life, I woke this morning heart heavy again.
What do I do God?
Where do I even begin?
So I do what I do.
Sorting through my own heart.
Staying in my own story.
Speaking it out loud.
I've half-landed, two feet on the ground and two arms still flailing in the air, in these ever-changing spaces:
It's always the right choice for me to do is get proximate to those who are suffering. To hear their broken hearts. To be a listener and a holder of space for their pain. To be a "back-door" Christian, like Jesus, who meets those in their worst moments and shows them love with no strings attached, not a "front-door" one with signs and screaming.
We can never hate anyone into transformational, redemptive change.
The most important part for me to play in this world is to do my very next right thing in love.
Everywhere. All the time.
(even in those most difficult of spaces...with those I perhaps disagree with)
This is the Jesus way.