Thursday, February 24, 2005

Where Are My Duties?

I have been thinking a lot over the last few days of where my duties lie. Of course I am a child of God first. I believe I must answer to Him for all of my actions (I can hear those who currently disagree with me rolling their eyes, and I didn't even know that had sound!). Second I am my husband's wife. One day the kids will all be grown, and it is the relationship with him that is supposed to be primary and till death. Third, I am my kids' mom. I have a responsibility to raise them, provide for them, educate them, and love them. I hope I'm doing well on each of those counts, though some days are better than others. Then I have my Christian duties.

As a Christian I am called to reach out in love to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes to offer support, and occasionally to rebuke (though with love and kindness, which can be hard). They are part of the body to which I belong, and we consider ourselves inter-connected, which is why those who believe that I'm making a bad choice feel it to be so important to tell me. They really have the best of intentions. But we are also called to reach out in love to those who are not of our faith. Many people have come here over the last week. Thousands. Many of them not Christian. Many of them not any faith.

It has made me wonder what they see when they read this. They see a woman in incredible pain. The loss of a child is universal, one that everyone can sympathize with. But then they've seen members of the community who should be giving her strength and love, attacking her. They don't see the good intentions. So many of these comments have been worded in ways that were unkind, or argumentative it makes it hard for me to see the good intentions and I believe that they're there! I wonder what it makes them think about what it means to be a Christian, and what they think of us?

I still have dreams where she's just fine, and it was all a terrible mistake, and I continue the pregnancy. I still have dreams where God's miracle is that she lives, even premature, and is just fine. Regardless, I know that I don't have the power to thwart God's soveriegn will. I wonder if people who say that I'm taking away God's chance to perform a miracle have really thought through the theological implications of that statement. We have free will, yes, but His Sovereign Will cannot be changed, His plans will come to fruition. Who do they think I am that I could change that?

I had hoped that by sharing what we are going through, that people would see how God sustains. How we can reach past so many barriers that we put between us and reach out to one another to share His love. I hoped that people would see that my foundation is not dust, but a rock so strong that it cannot be moved, even in the deepest despair. I hoped that they would see how He has held me in His arms when I have been to weak to cling to Him any longer. I hoped they would see how I trust in Him to hold my baby safe in His arms, and how I believe that He has a plan for all of this (though I'd really love it if He'd let me in on it).

Now I just hope that those who might have seen God are not driven away by people who truly love Him and want to do what's right, but have done it poorly. Please don't judge God based on our imperfect ability to follow Him (and that totally includes me too, I have not always handled this with the most grace). He is so much greater than us.

I love my baby so much. I wish there was something I could do to make her well, to make her able to sustain herself at some point. But I also know that He is bigger than all of this, and that He will be with us, no matter how hard it is, or how much it hurts.

To those of you who pray, please continue. To those of you who don't, I thank you for every kind wish. I probably wont be able to post again for a couple of days.

Blessings to all of you.


1 'A visitor' posted on the Thu 24 Feb 2005, 5:04 pm

Anne, strangely enough, your words feel as though they were meant for me. What I've witnessed here has troubled me. I've argued this with a friend who is adamantly pro-life. I've argued it with a friend who is adamantly pro-choice.We haven't argued about abortion. We've argued about how we continue to let someone know they are loved and supported even if we disagree with them. We've argued about how to leave the door open for communication.

I was troubled enough today, that I brought this to my mother. yes, she who is still a fundamentalist Christian and (as is our wont) we exchanged some rather harsh words. At first, she didn't understand that I wasn't trying to discuss abortion or procedures or even the definition of life (yes, I've backed her into that corner). I was trying to get to the root of how we show love to one another....or as in so many cases, we show unlove.

Because I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian, I'm well versed on the appearance that should be presented to those who are not believers. I often am led to wonder if Christians really stop to think, or care, about the face they present to the world. I've watched them wrap themselves in their own sanctimonious cloaks and claim persecution when others disagree. They will say some of the most hateful things to people, even their own fellow believers and feel justified, even self-righteous in doing so. When did this extreme form of judgementalism become synonymous with Christianity? I wonder, so often, what God thinks when he sees this.

At any rate, thank you for continuing to present a loving demeanor in the face of some incredible accusations and hateful comments. You remind me that there are those I consider to be truly Christian (as opposed to those who simply claim the name).

Anne, you don't just "talk the talk". You are "walking the walk". While there are those who would scream that I'm wrong because you made a decision with which they disagree, I say that you are. The "walk" and the "talk" aren't about abortion. They are about living a truly Christian life and presenting it consistently to those of us who are non-believers.


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