I seem to be writing about a lot of less-than-cheery stuff lately. I guess a lot of less-than-cheery topics have been thrown into my lap.
I talked with my friend Shelley yesterday about the murder of Dr. Tiller. I found out this week that one of my Wichita friends worked in his clinic for several years. She's a writer now and blogged about her feelings on the matter all week. She copied there a comment some person out there wrote about her reflections--a perfect stranger who called her a moral monster.
Did you hear that? A moral monster. Yeah, that's the way to win friends and influence people. Much as I disagree with my friend on the abortion question, she is in no way a moral monster.
I've been furious with some of the pro-life reaction to the whole event (who publicly questions the eternal destiny of the recently departed while their friends and family are still mourning?? So cold and tacky). I've also been angry and offended at many of the pro-choice comments about pro-life religious folks, a group which I claim.
However, I'm having a slow change of heart about that. I've always protested the charges of hate that has been leveled at Christians over the abortion issue, the gay marriage issue, etc. etc. But I've become convicted. We need to be honest with ourselves.
The very fact that such a charge of hatred could be directed at the church and have any chance of sticking should bring the church to its knees in repentance.
Jesus never said that people would know we're his disciples by our correct convictions. Or by our proper political stances. Or by our righteous behavior. Or by our deep scriptural knowledge. Or by our our large numbers. He said they would know we are his disciples by our LOVE. And Lord knows, that's not what His church is known for in America today. How miserably have we failed in our greatest calling: to love.
Shelley mentioned yesterday how many Christians have become much too obsessed with the "correctness" of their cause. "We're right. Our cause is just. Our doctrine is correct." As if that justifies everything. Who bloody cares how right you are if you are also cruel??
And I'm not excused by saying that I, personally, didn't do any of this. I don't hate anyone. But how much have I actually loved? Love is a pro-active act of the will -- not merely an absence of ill-will. It's all well and good for me to sit around talking about how ineffective the pro-life movement has been and to pontificate about what should be done to end or reduce abortions in America. But to my shame, I have been quite happy to sit back and let others fight the battles their way. Like the non-voter who reserves the right to complain about the administration anyway. Hypocrite.
So, I'm wallowing in my guilt and conviction now. But I don't know what to do next. I can't work for every cause; I can't fight in every battle. I guess I just pray for direction. For the next few steps on my path to be lit well -- and for the courage to take the path as shown.