Friday, April 12, 2013

When You Believe Every Human Life is Sacred

When you believe every human life is sacred, it affects everything. How you view others, how you view yourself, how you view the old, how you view the unborn.

And when you don't believe every human life is sacred, it also affects everything.

When I first watched this video, my heart broke for a girl immersed in a culture where her life is not sacred.

And when I read the article "What happened when my pro-abortion friend saw this picture", I was reminded that fighting for the value of life never ends.

The problem that lies within forgetting the sacredness of every human life starts small. It starts with a little lie that some people are better than others, that some lives aren't worth living, that some people don't deserve to live, that humans can decide which lives are valuable and which ones are not.

Somewhere along the line, a little lie started, and then, a little lie grew. It grew into many lies that affected many nations. Boys are valued above girls, lives are bought and sold or stolen, people kill for honor and glory. It's easy for us in America to look at other nations and say, "How do they think that's okay?" But we miss the fact that we do the same.

Our lies claim that a fetus is just a blob of tissue, that a person who is a "vegetable" is better off dead, that an unborn baby with birth defects shouldn't be put through numerous surgeries. Expelling a fetus is simple, death is an appropriate escape, the ending of a potentially hard life is a grace.

When did we ever think it was okay for us to play God?

Human life is sacred, absolutely and across the board. There are no exceptions because one exception opens the door to all exceptions. One step down a slope leads to another, one stone starts an avalanche. We think that we have the right to choose when to end an unborn life and we hold to that for now. How long until we think we have the right to end any life deemed unnecessary? We are well on our way.

We forget that we don't know everything, or even all that we think we know. We think we know the foreseeable future, we think we know what a "hard" life will be like, we think defects define a person, we think value is measurable. 

But the truth is this: We are not God (or gods). Therefore, we do not know everything. We don't know the future, we don't know each man's purpose. We don't hold ultimate power and therefore shouldn't try to wield it. The choice of life and death, value and worth, is not ours to make.

Under God, we're all on a level field. To him, we each are valued, important, purposeful. Each and every life, from the "least" to the "greatest," holds the same importance to him. Our view of life should mirror his: precious, individual, unique, important. Every single one.

In America, we like to talk about rights. We live, fight, and die for them. We clutch onto our rights more than perhaps any other thing. Americans have and always will fight for their rights, and we see that even today. But let me remind you, while you're busy working for new rights, "better rights," that in the beginning, there were a few basic rights established, the first being life. All other rights build on top of this.

Whether or not you believe America was established as a Christian nation, our founding fathers knew the value of life. No doubt because they had seen so many young lives stolen by a hard-fought war for freedom. And in their establishment of a new nation, they knew that human life was important, more than important, it was a right.

I don't really care when people think a human life "starts," whether at birth or conception, or some nebulous place between. It's irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that it is a human life, regardless of the stage it's in or what people think. Again, we're not God. We're not in the business of creating human life, of forming infants in the womb, or determining when it's okay to terminate a life.

Yes, I know what many would say. They would talk about a woman's right to choose, and a myriad of other carefully crafted arguments and questions that all skirt the real issue. And I would argue that the right to life, being the first and most important right, trumps all our other "rights" we've constructed over the years. But my point in this post isn't to argue the different potential situations of pregnancies, it's to argue the sacredness of every human life. Therein lies the real issue.

I challenge you, regardless of your beliefs, to think through this: what if it's true? What if every single life in any stage of life is equally important, equally valuable, equally deserving of life? What if a fetus really is more than just tissue, what if it is a living baby with a heartbeat and brainwaves and a future you can't begin to imagine? Would that change things? Would that affect your view of everything you once believed? Would that change the way you live?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

When They Say I Have a Gift

"You really have a gift for writing," he said.

When someone tells me I have a gift for writing, I feel happy and terrible at the same time. Happy, because someone thinks I write well and likes to read what I have to say. Terrible because of what it's usually followed by, a question, and its answer.

"Are you still writing?"

"Sort of... I keep a blog, sometimes," I mutter, then proceed to feel even more terrible.

If it really is a gift, then I really am wasting it. It's spent on text messages, 140 characters comprising a "tweet" and Facebook posts which may garner a few mouse clicks from friends. And when I get around to it, a half-hearted attempt here, on my humble little blog, which may reach 40 people if I'm lucky.

"Well, life does get busy, especially when you're planning a wedding, and that's important," he helps out.

Yes, busy. Life is busy.

I nod, but I don't like that excuse as I roll it around in my brain. I should be doing more. I should be writing more.

Writing has been my life since I can remember. And not always the written-down type writing. Most days I just told stories in my head to chase away loneliness or boredom. The written-down stories were scribbled with poor penmanship and terrible spelling in my journals, and later typed on a 90s Macintosh computer.

Sometimes nostalgia hits and I pull out a journal or start up the old Mac to read bits of the past. I used to write about everything--families, aliens, a horse ranch, historical fiction, poetry, bears, and of course, my real life.

I miss those days. I miss having endless hours to create a story, lose myself in it, and surface later to examine the world around me for useable subjects. Anything could trigger an idea, anything could become part of a story.

Sometimes I still look at life that way, a series of subjects, plots, characters and settings. The pictures in front of me easily paint themselves into a story brewing in my mind. But just as quickly as they appear, they are wiped away by the real world problems of the day. Adult responsibilities usually take first priority in all situations. Work, meetings, meals, activities, they replace writing so quickly and effortlessly that storytelling is easily forgotten.

And yet, I always have to come back to it.

I recently told my mom that I usually find I can best express myself through writing. Anytime something big happens, or something important is on my mind, I start up my computer and come here. I type feverishly until something makes sense. Then if it is worthy of living, I click publish and wait. I wait to see if anyone else feels the same, understands what I am saying and why. And I wait for that feeling of satisfaction, that I created something, and didn't forget how to write coherently.

I long for those endless, empty days that I could fill with writing and creating. But even without them, I must press on, for the sake of my soul and the hunger within it, I must keep writing. Even if it is just simple musings, 140 characters or a story that never makes it onto the page. Perhaps one day something substantial will come out of all of this striving, something coherent and beautiful, a gift.
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