Today, I stood in line at a christian church to vote. I watched parents pacify their children with car keys and candy as we were corralled into a line of wait. I observed those who were well versed on the amendments, candidates and how each was in and out of their winged-spaces within 5 minutes. Five persons deep, I started to pray.
It was now my turn.
I walked into the shoe box space and felt anxious that I was going to violate some voting guideline that would get me booted to the curb. I kept my eyes on the suspender-wearing man with the big smile, as he plugged his volunteer cartridge into the voting machine. As much as I wanted to sweep my eyes towards the voters – just to sport a smile as we stood showcased in the front line – an internal voice said, “Don’t mess this up – front and centered and ignore all shiny options that might distract.” And so I walked the voting guidelines and pressed the Yellow oblong circle, and my ballot began.
I stared at Amendment 1. I read it thoroughly as if reading it for the first time. I looked into the empty box at each Yes and No. I wanted to see the face of God but all I could see was my own reflection on the screen. I paused for a while and reflected on a comment that I read that morning by a gentlemen that packed a punch of fear in his comments that appeared in all caps. He said that if you vote “No” on amendment 1 – you will have blood on your hands. That you are responsible for every abortion that’s performed and you will be judged by God. His God seemed harsh to me. I also remembered all the articles I read and friends that I have that speak passionately about life. That advocate for the unborn. That have yard signs and sticks to measure the many reasons of why this is morally wrong. I also thought of my dear friend that is going through the adoption process and soon will have a baby that’s rightly seen as a miracle and God-made. And I proudly serve an organization that would have done anything to bring their baby home. I remembered being elevated in a hospital bed for days hoping that Hannah would not come before her lungs were fully developed – I would have stood on my head if that could have made a difference. I also remember a dear friend who was pregnant with a daughter that had a trisomy condition. This condition caused the baby to slowly deteriorate in her womb. Her and her husband made the heartrending decision of wanting labor induced while the baby was still alive in her womb in the hopes of a miracle. Their decision was not supported by the laws of the state – allowing her to be induced since her pregnancy was not full term. So, they did the unbearable, they boarded a plane to fly to another state that would allow her induction. The baby didn’t survive and it’s amazing that Mom survived the heart ache.
So, needless to say, I was standing idle at the poll machine for a long time before I casted my votes.
All life is a miracle – and gift from the Father. I wonder why life can be devalued or one can become detach, and think they can erase the footprint of life. Thinking this is the only option. Or why some are not present in the shadows of a person’s soul that’s faced with this decision when they are weaved in each other’s daily life. Or why a community may firmly stand in righteousness and judgement in their prolife-views, allowing shame to push a person who’s pregnant to do the unthinkable in secret. We can’t simply avoid the mess, and detach ourselves by those in need with keeping it all in a neat box of Yes or No. God doesn’t fit in a box. Jesus worked from the bottom up. He worked from the inside out – transforming hearts by EACH he physically, mindfully and spiritually touched. And he needs our hands and feet now.
History has a way of allowing a collective conscious match our holy soul. Word catches up to deed. In every stride that’s made in history to give true equality to ALL (albeit it’s taken much time) – it was given (Civil rights, women’s vote.) It’s now time for the unborn. I pray that saying “Yes” to amendment one isn’t the end though. It’s a beginning where we can become more deeply aware of our neighbors needs and love them as ourselves – right where they are.
I’m grateful for friends that have stood with me through the muck and mess and reminded me of something greater then my infinity frail humanity – the love and forgiveness of a sovereign Creator.
Here are a few resources that are of great support: