Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God's Will is Never So What

This was a post destined not to be written.  First, my computer froze.  Then time on the day for writing ran out.  Then the weekend was so filled, there was no free time to write...then when I sat down, my son came with an assignment he needed to complete.  My daughter needed it for an art project.  Some of the kids started a group game on the machine.  Yesterday, there was a two hour delay, a early ending to a school day, cub scouts, play practice and all the normal stuff of Monday.
Today, my computer froze again and again while trying to post. 

The irony of persisting when the whole point was to say that as people who want to be fully human, we can never say, "So what?" when no one would mourn what was not read or miss what was not written, was not lost on me.  Especially when I had finally given up.

 Then I read Elizabeth Scalia a.k.a. the Anchoress. She wrote a post and beat me to it on..First Things.  Ahhhhhhh! Back to this old bone I go. 

I'd already written something today.  But it wouldn't let me go. So I went back to the blog.  It froze twice.   It closed up. My son came and demanded soy milk.  My children had a game of ponies and cars.  I fixed lunch.  Then I promised, I'd at least finish writing the darn thing so the idea would stop perhaps pestering me.

In a world where all is relative and everything negotiable as to what is good and the truth, unknowable, two different women essentially asking the same question about the death of people.

Mary Elizabeth Williams over at Salon. talks about acknowledging the physical reality of life starting at conception but declares "I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing." She's willing to say, abortion no matter why, no matter what is the right. Yeah, an abortion ends a life...so what?

How is it brave to say, "So What?" To say, "I don't care." Bravery requires care. Living requires risk.  Love requires self sacrifice. (not other sacrifice). One has to care to be brave, one has to care to love.  To say so what is to declare, I refuse to love.  I refuse to care.  It is throwing up one's hands and quitting at the opportunity for great grace, either in defiance, in fear or in despair.    

One has to care to stand up for what is right.   Honesty in and of itself is not bravery.  Saying I need to lose 15 pounds, cut the caffeine, cut up my credit cards and exercise isn't brave, it's a list of what I need to do to de-stress my life.  It is pedestrian honesty.  True...but not brave to say, merely fact. Bravery is doing it. 

Bravery is acting on what you know to be intellectually true even if it is hard.  Hardly brave when she is so certain her audience will approve and laud her for her honesty.  It is Salon after all. Announcing what everyone knows via science about when life begins, she is lauded as a truth teller for saying it is a baby.  Saying you know there are concentration camps killing millions is not brave.  Working to help stop the them or sheltering those you can from the trains is.  She proclaims she would kill her own child if she found she was pregnant now.  Hardly brave.  It takes far more courage to live/save a life than to kill one.

This week, over a half a million people braved the cold to march to the steps of the Supreme Court in memory of the decision Roe vs. Wade and the 55 million children aborted since that decision 40 years ago and as usual, the media yawned and discussed virtually everything else. The media that did cover the march pondered what difference do they make?  The law is the law of the land.  The answer is that all that we do matters, it matters to those we affect by our actions and our inactions, what we do well and what we do poorly.  It affects people long after the day, in ways we cannot know or won't be allowed to know, until we undergo Purgatory where we will examine our log and discover all our missteps.  We will also know the joy of discovering all the times we acted as the catalyst for some one's epiphany on the Road to Damascus, perhaps even merely by having walked the road before them.  But no one every found their way home to a joy filled life via "Whatever."

Going back to the article, what does one say to someone who says "So What?" How can such a soul be moved?  How do we generate heat and light in a luke warm soul content, nay, proud to be indifferent? 

The answer to all of these questions, is the same.   We cannot know all we affect, we can only know if we do our best and trust that the Holy Spirit will work with our efforts to do God's will, the answer will never be...so what? 

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