What a curious turn of events. It looks like there is a real possibility that Roe will be overturned, if the leak to the press of the majority opinion doesn’t ruin everything. Not gonna lie–haven’t been able to get off Twitter. Scrolled along way too late last night, and then woke up early this morning and kept scrolling. There are so many interesting takes, on both the left and the right. Several people suggested that this is what is called a Pyrrhic Victory–the cost of the victory is too high, too many things have happened in getting to this moment (Trump being the chief of them all). Other people responded that, given that we’re talking about innocent life, even though the cost is high, it’s worth it.
Funnily enough, I was reading this when the news broke over Twitter. Its a piece by a woman in Australia who made a very poor set of decisions about her life:
Over the course of the evening, my attraction to Jason developed. I soon became aware of his every breath and I unconsciously mirrored his pace. I caught myself, embarrassingly, looking at his chest through his slim-fitted white evening shirt. Yes, he had a fit, toned and attractive body, but was it his chest I was drawn to?
When dessert was served, he offered me a sample of his decadent and oozy chocolate pudding. I declined, but he scooped up a generous spoonful and fed me across the table anyway. He displayed a level of familiarity normally reserved for close friends or lovers. If anyone had been watching us, they would have been at least curious as to the nature of our relationship.
By the time the group left the restaurant late in the evening, all my senses were on high alert. It was abundantly clear that the energy between Jason and me was somehow charged. I instinctively understood, though, that this was more than just lust, something I had felt many times before. I also understood that it was more than simply physical attraction, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
She decides that “it” is that she went to a weekend conference that was supposed to reignite her flagging relationship with her husband. When the conference was over she went home, packed up her stuff, and left, hoping that this Jason person would similarly chuck his life to be with her. They were, after all, “soulmates.” This he declined to do, but all was not lost. She got a book deal. Here’s the blurb:
Amanda never imagined that after uprooting her comfortable, stable life to make room for her soulmate that he would decide to go his own way. They both agreed that their connection was unbelievably cosmic. So why did he say no? A fearless voyage of self-discovery fueled by stubbornness, tenacity, and an unquenchable thirst for answers to the great mysteries of the soul. Amanda shares the intimate details of her transformation from love-sick hot mess to self-actualized superstar with unapologetic vulnerability and effervescent humor. Through the exploration of grief, spirituality, energy therapies, self-acceptance, and the undeniable healing power of a good Diana Ross song, Amanda’s story serves as an example of what is possible when we dare to dream of a life that’s nothing short of miraculous. [emphasis all other people’s and not mine]
There’s so much in here to be sad about. The word “fearless” is as good a reason as any. As the writers of the Bible so often remark, “there is no fear of God before their eyes,” and “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” or,
The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god.” I Samuel 5:6-8
That’s what I happened upon this morning as I was rambling around the Bible. The Israelites, losing so badly against the Philistines, thought they would take the Ark with them into battle, as a sort of talisman, not bothering to stop and ask God nicely to help them out of all their troubles. The Philistines gave the Ark back, of course, because Dagon was found in the morning lying on the ground with his head and hands cut off. Plus the boils and the terrifying fear that wrecked their peace.
One thing that has motivated the pro-life movement over the last forty years has been a great and growing desire not to have the deaths of millions of babies on our hands. The fear of God has grown in the minds of many people, as they have contemplated the hideousness of what is happening in places like the ugly, cement building that squats on one of the main thoroughfares here in this decaying and demoralized town. There is a big flower on the front of it, as if that makes the euphemism of “women’s health” any easier to stomach. I drive past this building many days a week, and always feel sick when I do. The women go in, full of the promise of a way out of all their troubles, and then come out with more troubles heaped up, with a grief that can only be conquered when a whole society is forced to lie over and over and over again about what is good and what is evil.
Amanda, for example, was certainly told a legion of lies about herself before she ran away from her husband and children. The greatest of the lies was about her own happiness, that she could only be happy if she could lustily feed off the soul and body of another person, this Jason person, who should not have spurred her on, but was right not to run away with her.
The trouble is that that soul is made to worship God, and God is a difficult stranger. He can’t be manipulated or forced to do anything. He must be feared for his power, his might, and his holiness. We can’t just walk up and demand that he give us what we want, because what we want ultimately produces a sickening wreckage of all that he has made.
Which is to say, if Roe is overturned, it won’t have been a Pyrrhic victory. Many bad things will go on happening throughout this country. But the very very good thing will be that many babies will be able to make it out of the womb alive and go into life to discover the God who made them. As many other people said on Twitter, praise God for this culture “war.” Praise God for the people who have prayed, and lobbied, and stood outside of these horrible clinics, and given money, and helped women who made the choice to keep their babies. Praise God that they didn’t give in to the shame and embarrassment of being the sort of people who care about this. Praise God for the “single-issue voter.” Because if the issue is the life of another person–a small person, a helpless person, a defenseless person–all the rippling effects of that one life getting to live is so great that only God can know it.