Archive for July, 2013

July 27, 2013

“Yet there may be a light beyond the darkness; and if so, I would have you see it and be glad.”

– Aragorn, to his mother, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A (p 1036)

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July 25, 2013

HB2 Has Passed, but Our Work, Pro-Lifers, Is Just Beginning

Well, pro-life friends, we got our heart’s desire. We saw HB2 passed and then signed into law in Texas – a victory many of us have fought and prayed and spent ourselves relentlessly to win. I know some of you pro-choicers won’t believe me when I say this, but we are totally jazzed about the protections that bill affords patients seeking abortions. 

It would be easy for us to fall into the early-Christmas-afternoon-slumber now. I bet you know what I’m talking about, even if you aren’t a Christmas celebrant: we’ve all opened our gifts and oohed and ahed and said “thank you” about 40 times per gift, and we’ve all eaten, and now… we just kind of get bored and sleepy. If you walk around the house around 2 pm, you will find almost every adult passed out cold. (Who knew watching tiny hands and faces rip wrapping paper could be so exhausting!) Even the kiddos are often quietly playing or reading. It’s kind of a contented malaise. 

We cannot afford a contented malaise, y’all. There are women in all kinds of situations who need us, and now will be looking somewhere other than Planned Parenthood if they are over 20 weeks in their pregnancies. 

Now more than ever we need to step up our hospitality, humility, and kindness. Now more than ever we need to seek out women who are in very hard circumstances, who are, as The Source for Women CEO Cynthia Wenz says, “abortion-vulnerable.” 

It is not enough for us to have legislation that protects fetuses after 20 weeks. It is not enough for us to make sure women who do get abortions are given excellent care and halt any more Kermit Gosnells out there in Texas. We’ve got to be present to women in trouble. We’ve got to walk with a woman through a pregnancy and birth.  We’ve got to bring her meals when she comes home from the hospital. We’ve got to be her friends through thick and thin. We very well may have to be the village that it takes to raise a child. Being a single parent is hard work, whether you do it for 9 months before you place your baby with another family or for most of your life. We know this. Now that knowledge needs to put us to work.

So many of us pro-lifers are conservative, evangelical Christians that people – understandably! – get whiplash trying to figure us out. “So, they want people to stop getting abortions, but they get all high and mighty when a single woman turns up pregnant. How hypocritical! How absurd!” 

I would love to see the number of babies born to unwed mothers go down, but NOT at the expense of a single fetal life. I would much rather see that birthrate skyrocket. 

Y’all, we have to think beyond sexual sin so fast when we are dealing with people. Jesus does. Jesus sees hurting, broken, rebellious hearts. But since when does Jesus wait for us to get our wicked, sorrowful messes under control before He comes to us? How dare we demand that of other sinners before we will help them! In fact, one of God’s favorite tools on earth is His people. How can we be useful to Him if we are not near enough to help on the “front lines” – the messes?

I’m not saying that the commands about chastity are not a big deal. Believe me, it’s one of my favorite topics. (Thanks, Lauren Winner.) But I am saying that forgiveness and love and compassion don’t hold ANY sin over someone’s head. So when you say to an unwed mother, “I just don’t understand how you could slip up like that,” you are treating this woman, this daughter of Eve, with arrogance and contempt. You are throwing the Law at her. But you, friend, would die if the Lord threw the Law at you, just like she would. Extend the kind of grace to her that you so desperately need yourself.

Wake up, Church. Women in all kinds of unplanned pregnancies need us. We cannot be asleep on the job. 

July 19, 2013

Some of the OTHER Stuff I Learned in College

It seems like a lot of lessons that people learn in college we all learned in college. You know, things like “even if your family has a lot in common with someone else’s family, their family has very different norms” and “most professors are not out to get you.” But there are a always some weird, random things we pick up, that seem to be less generic. Here are a few of the stranger things I learned that might be, shall we say, less common?

1. Check all metal flatware for dried food particulates. (Credit: the Pit)

2. If you live in substance-free housing freshman year and are known to be a non-drinker, the RA won’t make you clean up your own vomit when you get sick. (Credit: Johnson Hall)

3. Rugby for Dummies is an exceedingly helpful book if you are trying to be supportive of a friend who just picked up rugby and you actually want to know what is going on at games.

4. Cafeteria trays can be used as mini-sleds if you have the right hill.

5. The ultimate compliment is when someone dresses as you for Halloween. (Credit: RAST)

6. Tiny offices are positively divine. (Credit: Carswell)

7. “Shagging” isn’t just a British term for sex. (Credit: Shag on the Mag)

8. If you don’t write down the funny things that your friends and professors say, you will forget almost all of them. (Credit: pretty much everyone) See below for examples of things I remember because I wrote them down.

  • A: “Take it off and shake it.”
  • Z: “I slept about four and a half hours last night, so I’m feeling pretty chipper.”
  • M: “We can send his ashes to the four corners of Scotland as a warning to other sociological jurispruders.”
  • E: “What’s with them and these rabid Spanish tutors?”
  • A: “This is more addicting than organic chemistry!”
  • D: “This is an indecent hour to be visiting a friend, but that’s what I’m doing!”
  • N: “Girls are smart, but they spend it all on being devious.”
  • K: “What the Efird?!”
  • M: “That’s the most last-minute kid in the building.”
  • Z: “I can alphabetize everyone in the philosophy study group in 10 minutes.”
  • Dr. Lewis: “And then we got born.”

[Bonus Lesson: Even if you do write down the funny things that your friends and professors say, 10 years later you won’t remember what most of them meant. And even the ones you DO remember probably won’t feel funny anymore.]

July 6, 2013

July Johnson had been raised not to complain, so he didn’t complain, but the truth of the matter was, it had been the hardest year of his life: a year in which so many things went wrong that it was hard to know which trouble to pay attention to at any given time.

– Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove, 245.