Second time ever taking part in an anti-abortion demonstration outside the local "planned parenthood" (what an inaccurate name!).
The choice was between a women's tea for Brandy and going to the demonstration, and after prayer and conversation, we opted for me going to the demonstration. There will be other teas.
40 Days for Life (http://40daysforlife.com/index.cfm) only lasts for 40 days, after all, and this was the final time that the local "Seattle Clinic Defense" (http://www.seattleclinicdefense.org/) was coming out to counter-protest. My first night showing up for a vigil shift the organizer Helen told me they were hoping for as many people to show as possible on Saturday so they wouldn't be outnumbered by the SCD folk.
I explained to the kids why I was going to go stand in the rain and pray, and asked if any of them wanted to come with me. Enoch immediately said yes, but I backed out of that one knowing he can't stay still for five minutes and would be out in the road getting squished before I knew what was happening. Jaelle then volunteered, and I asked her if she was willing to stand in the cold and rain and pray with me for an hour and a half. She said "yes". I said "dress really warm!"
So we went, and prayed (9 out of 10 of the ppl showing up for prayer were Catholic, so they were all going through the rosary together). The pro-abortion folks were pretty quiet & didn't really attempt to engage any of us, except for the worn-looking older woman who "booed" me and Jelly as she walked away with her sign towards the end of it all. I told her that we loved her. She told me she didn't love us. They held their slogan-signs though, and got quite a few honks from the deceived motorists of Seattle. When you don't have an argument, a slogan will serve, I suppose.
Brandy had been waiting with the boys in the van across the street, & told me how excited Josiah had been getting watching the whole thing, even making his own sign in the backseat with crayon. Maybe next time I'll take him with me.
Maybe it's because I was so blessed by God as to have the mother I have (I think dad helped too, especially in the logic department) and to watch her reactions and actions to abortion in our extended family and the news that I had a healthy sense of shock and grief as far back as I could remember at the thought of someone actually killing their own child in the womb.
As I grew older, I was always willing to respond if asked what I thought of abortion as an issue, but began thinking of it more as just one of those evils that I would not commit but wouldn't really go out of my way to discourage others from commiting. Even after truly being born again I was taught that it would be futile to hold a sign, because nothing was really going to change. It's easy to be shushed and awkward-silenced into a retreat into "personal opinions".
When our baby after Enoch miscarried, that forced Brandy and I to look it all in the eye. Look, that is, at the issue of where human life begins, and what a miscarriage is. Most of the literature directed towards mothers seems geared to soothe them by telling them that they only lost a few cells. After all, it would be so much easier if that were true! A mother would not have really lost a baby...only a few cells, that's not so bad; there would be no death involved. But we talked, and I cracked open my biology book, and before God we reaffirmed that yes, we'd really lost a baby. About this time we began to research what we might be able to do in the way of combating abortion and helping expecting mothers find other options. Brandy looked into Crisis Pregnancy Clinics in the area.
Then I went to the Discovery Institute's Summer Seminar, where I met the passionate and innovative crew who started AHA (Abolish Human Abortion http://abolishhumanabortion.com/ ) and had several really invigorating conversations with them. They were the first group of Christians I'd ever met who believed that by the power of Christ abortion could really be abolished here in the U.S.. They pointed to the work of believers like William Wilberforce and the shocking parallels between attitudes and arguments and public sentiment regarding slavery back then and abortion now.
I was also priveleged to hear Tracy Deisher talk about her pro-life biotech work here in Seattle (http://soundchoice.org/) regarding the use of fetal cells in vaccines and the uselessness of fetal stem cells (as opposed to adult stem cells) for medical research.
Shortly after this I encouraged Brandy to do whatever it took to start volunteering at the Carenet Crisis Pregnancy Clinic she'd been researching.
Then finally, everything that happened with our beautiful Elias really drove home to me the preciousness of God's little ones, and the unthinkableness of standing by with my private opinions and letting generations of women be deceived into having them killed. It's not a private opinion, it's Truth, and ought to be public. Life begins at conception. HUMAN life. Made in the image of God and precious to Him, and therefore objectively precious. To kill an innocent human being like the least of these, without provocation, for no crime, is murder. And who will stand against it? It is true that no one can do everything - but everyone can do something.
It might be said that it is not the gospel. This is true. But the gospel has implications, and if none of those implications are realized in the life of people to whom is preached what is generally believed to be the gospel, then perhaps what is being preached is not the gospel either.