I am pro-life. I am pro-every-life. I think that society could get along just fine without the death penalty. Tales of genocide and starvation, past and present, break my heart. I think that the potential for life within a fetus is enough reason to let grow, develop, and be born.
I am also pro-good-life. I think that every person should have experiences of love, community, joy, and beauty. I don't think that people should have to live in fear of crime, corruption, disease, or death. I think that every person should have access to clean drinking water, education, and medical facilities that will not drive them into debt.
I do not understand why these two beliefs, which are inextricably intertwined in my heart and my theology, represent two opposite ends of the American political spectrum. I do not understand how anyone can believe that it is enough to just allow a fetus to be born. If a baby has a right to life, shouldn't he also have the right to a good life?
What benefit does a child gain by being given the right to life if he never has the chance to truly live? If he never has access to basic necessities? If he's never given the chance to thrive?
If you don't want that teenage mom to abort her child, love her and support her as she becomes a mother. Adopt kids who have no other chance at having a real home. Be proactive in loving people rather than reactive to controversy.
If you're going to be pro-life, be pro-good-life too.
I have a hard time defining, even to myself, what I mean by "home." Uganda is the place I associate with home, but Uganda is no longer the place I left and I am no longer the person who left it. My family lives in Abilene. I live in Searcy. They're both somehow homey now. I'm not homesick for those places, though.
I'm realizing now that I'm not homesick for a spot on the globe or even for an identity within a community. I'm homesick for the surprisingly beautiful glimpses of eternity in humanity.
I'm homesick for those moments when I open my eyes during team devo singing and see worship in the faces of people I love, for the times when I'm praying with a friend and masks are stripped away before God's holy presence. I'm homesick for the times when I want to be with God, living all out for him, so badly that the most eloquent words won't do justice to my desire for him. I'm homesick for the moments of complete clarity when I see the truth about the evil of my sin and then feel God's grace rush in to cover it.
Those are the kinds of things I want, and none of them are tied to this earth. They are pieces of eternity held by God's people, and they are the closest I've ever come to home. I don't know what heaven will be like, but it will be home. The most precious moments in my memory will be magnified and become an eternal reality.
I'm homesick, and it's a bittersweet feeling, but it's absolutely right. I don't want to stop feeling homesick until I'm really home.
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.
There are more kinds of Christian listed on facebook than there are kinds of deoderant in Wal-Mart, and that's saying something.
How did we become so segregated and splintered? I know the history of it, but I feel like we've lost touch with the reality of what has happened. We are a body that has been torn apart into little pieces. Our condemnation of the sin in the outside world is surpassed only by our condemnation of each other. We want to be right, not because we want to remove all barriers to God using us, but because it satisfies our egos to have the perfect theology.
In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis steps into the character of a shrewd older demon who is writing a younger demon with advice on how to effectively tempt humans. At one point, the older demon says, "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans."
I think this quote captures the essence of the disease that is infecting the community of Christ in the world today. We are so broken up and consumed with internal problems that we inadvertently serve Satan's purposes. We spend more time arguing with fellow Christians than we spend fighting against true evil.
It breaks my heart. What will it take for us to see the church as a body that is "spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity?"