Monday, June 5, 2017

When Do We Give up on the Lost?

I was wrong. My sore throat wasn't due to allergies. While kayaking made me feel better on Saturday, by Sunday afternoon, I was feeling full-blown terrible. I think it is just a bad cold, but it is pretty bad.  Unfortunately, I didn't know I was sick till AFTER lunch with my dear daughter for her birthday and exposing her to all my sick germs. Happy Birthday honey...

I came home, and my throat became scratchier and scratchier, my head pounded, my sinuses filled, my nose dripped,  and I felt hot and awful. So, I settled into my recliner and played with my art program.  I had fun producing the angel art at the top of this blog but I felt wretched.

Even worse, today is my volunteer day as a pro-life counselor on the sidewalks of the abortion center.

I haven't missed a day on the sidewalks due to sickness at all (that I can remember) in 3 1/2 years. Even cancer only kept me away for a few weeks. However, I won't be able to be out there today. I pray that angels surround those little babies and hearts are changed. I am sad I won't be there to see the miracles that God always sends in the midst of the horror.

These are the times our teams suffer most...when one of us is sick or cannot be there for some reason. How I wish I had a list of back-up volunteers to fill in on these occasions. It breaks my heart to think a mom might have changed her mind, but didn't because there was no one there to encourage her to do so. I guarantee the "pro-choice" folks there will not be encouraging a choice for life.

I somehow was joined into a Facebook "discussion" group between pro-life and pro-choice people. As far as I can see, I am the only pro-life person in the group. Last night, there was a post that came into my Facebook news feed where the pro-choice person described the baby as a "parasite". I didn't really have the physical stamina to enter into a fruitless discussion, but the twisted idea of the natural and beautiful process of precious human life developing in the womb being described as parasitic felt like the end of the universe.

Of course, I have heard that sentiment many times before, but felt I had to respond. Maybe some deceived soul could be challenged to reassess her position. At least five pro-choice vipers attacked my every response. I was typing as fast as I could. I sent them articles to support my points, such as the benefits of the unborn baby to the mother's health (in direct contradiction to the parasite argument) all the while thinking, REALLY? Someone really has to be convinced a baby human growing in the womb is not a parasite?? After a half an hour, they were circling back to their same arguments, and I had to go to bed.

This morning, my Bible study was in the book of Amos, chapter 5. Verse 7 popped out in light of the Facebook discussion: There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.
 
Then verse 10: There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.

Vs 14-15a: Seek good, not evil, that you may live.Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good...

But vs. 12-13 are the ones that gave me pause: For I know how many are your offenses
    and how great your sins.
There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
    and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,for the times are evil.


I felt terrible ending the Facebook discussion and going to bed, but felt they were only digging in deeper, justifying and rationalizing their sordid views on the sanctity of human life. In short, their argument boiled down to this: I will do what I want to do with my body. I don't care that the thing living in my womb is human. I won't be held captive to another human.

I am very disturbed by the verse in Amos that when the innocent are oppressed, the prudent keep quiet. I read several commentaries on verse 13 and all seem to agree that there are times when silence is the only response. Leave it to God.

However, I do want to offer a thought. I could be wrong, and it is probably not wise to voice an opinion counter to the great theologians. But look at the rest of Amos. Immediately following the verse about being silent, we are told to seek good and then this:

Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:
“There will be wailing in all the streets
    and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers will be summoned to weep
    and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing in all the vineyards,
    for I will pass through your midst,”
says the Lord.
18 Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
    That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
    your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!

I wonder if the point in Amos is that when we are silent, and long for the day of the Lord when all the wrongs will be righted, God is angry with us. He tells us in these verses THEREFORE...meaning what he has just said will have a consequence...and this is the consequence. The day the Lord returns will NOT be joyful for those who pretended to worship Him, but did not practice justice, righteousness, and defense of the innocent. Perhaps there is a time when those bent on evil will stop their ears to righteousness, but if we long for the day of the Lord and do nothing to confront the evil around us, are we complicit and will our longing for the day of the Lord be turned to shame upon His arrival?

These verses in Amos produce a tension in me. Remember Jesus' parable in Luke 15 about the woman and the lost coin who searches for it relentlessly till it is found, or his story of the lost sheep and the shepherd not resting till that sheep is found and safely returned to the fold. How do we know who is so lost that we should keep silent and give up on them? God knows, but I don't think we do.

It doesn't jive with Proverbs 24: 11-12 to remain silent when you know innocent people are being oppressed:
        Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
        And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.

         If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
         Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
         And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
         And will He not render to man according to his work?

 
I wish I wasn't so sick today. I know our mere presence on the abortion center sidewalk is testimony to the value that should be held for all human life. You never know when someone might pay attention and a heart will be changed...a life saved, the lost found.

Meanwhile, the pro-choice people will show up, herding women past those of us who believe a human baby should be protected from a violent death at the consent of the one who should be fighting the hardest for that tiny, defenseless life. I guarantee, they will not be silent.

Daniel, our Cities4Life director, recently told me that at a conservative estimate of 20 abortions a day, at a minimal cost of $300 (most are more expensive), the abortion center makes $6000 a day. They are open 6 days a week, thus make $36,000 each week. Open every week of the year, that means they make $1,872,000 a year killing babies. And that is ONE abortion center, applying a conservative estimate of profits. Abortion is a huge money maker.

No wonder they are doing everything in their power to silence us and get us off the sidewalk.

Now you can understand why I hate to be sidelined by a stupid, but vicious cold. The good news is peppermint oil under the nose does indeed reduce stuffiness as suggested by my sister, Amy.

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Please, consider volunteering with Cities4Life and speaking for the babies who would speak if they could... I am certain they would not be crying out, "Kill me, Mama!"
Contact me at vkaseorg@cities4life for more information on training and shadowing experienced counselors.
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2 comments:

  1. Sorry you are sick, friend! I interpret the Amos verses as you do. The "keep silent" part is a rebuke to the Church and the consequences of silence in the face of injustice are clear.

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    Replies
    1. oh good! NONE of the commentaries I read agree with us, but I can't be silent...

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