|Mother and Sara by Mary Cassatt|
Take abortion. I'm all for legally banning it, but the real problem does not lie in our laws: it lies in a culture that says children are a fashion accessory or a burden rather than a marvelous gift, and that we have the right to eliminate any perceived inconvenience from our lives, including another human life. Outlawing abortion will not alter those flawed basic beliefs. I think the real solution to abortion is to change how people view babies, and to change their selfishness to selflessness.
That's not something you can do in the political realm. It is something you do in daily life, as you gently live out the truth. It is ultimately, of course, something that God does; we are just little instruments.
I always want to do something about the wrongs I see. Perhaps I can, and perhaps it's less spectacular than I assume it must be.
"Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . . But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders." (1 Thessalonians 4)I like that. "Aspire to live quietly and to mind your own affairs." That doesn't mean that you can stick your head in the sand, ignore your neighbors, and pretend that America is the Garden of Eden. It does mean, though, that we're not all called to be William Wilberforce.
What am I called to, then? Well, I think that having a baby, welcoming it into the family no matter the circumstances, loving it whole-heartedly, sacrificing to make its life better, and-- gasp!-- being willing to have more children and do the same for them, is a significant weapon in the battle against the prevailing culture of death.
By witnessing to the value of new life, you're showing your neighbors that there is another way to look at humans. You're telling everyone that no, there aren't too many of us, and that giving birth should be cause for celebration, not eco-guilt. By going against the prevailing tide of self-absorption, you're opening opportunities to tell them about the love of God that transformed your heart.
I'm not a political activist, and I don't have the ability right now to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center or to adopt. But I am doing something about this problem. I am living . . . with this tiny person always in tow.