Unrepeatable Life (The Fruit of the Spirit is . . . Goodness)
I avoid animal shows on TV at all costs. Something is always stalking, killing and eating something else. I realize everything needs to eat and understand the food chain thing, but these are not images I want imprinted on my brain.
However, my son was watching a documentary recently about Jane Goodall and the chimpanzees. I joined him as it was interesting and felt pretty safe. Jane was joined by a photographer who later became her husband. Eventually, he became her ex-husband as he wanted to photograph the Serengeti and Jane wanted to stay with the chimps.
The documentary showed some stunningly beautiful photos from the African plain and some videos that caused me to jump up and leave the room. There was one scene, though, that caught my attention and I watched.
A large herd of water buffalo were running as two lions singled one from the group. One lion attacked his back and the other hung on his head and neck. I would have looked away except suddenly the entire herd stopped in their tracks and turned as one body toward the single buffalo. As suddenly as they stopped they began to run again but this time toward the attacking lions. The lions made the smart decision to abandon their lunch and take off. The victim was still on his feet as his rescuers surrounded him. I was amazed.
* * *
As I watched, my thoughts turned to the morning of 9/11 when we were attacked (sadly by our own species). We watched as the planes flew into the towers. We were horrified to see the buildings collapse with all those people—people just like us—trapped inside. We saw the brave first responders run toward the collapsing buildings. We watched as they risked and often gave their lives as they ran into the inferno to save people they didn't know. People who were valuable because they were our fellow humans.
As Americans, we came together as a nation and turned to face the enemy. Whether we agreed with our nation's response or not, we set aside our differences and charged. We protected our own. We would be forever changed. We would adjust to a new normal.
* * *
We have another enemy that kills in our land. An enemy that has been around long enough that it is accepted as normal. A Constitutional right. An enemy that preys on women, children and families and appears to be growing stronger as we justify our rights and devalue human life.
If we got up one Tuesday morning, turned on our televisions and were faced with the words "Breaking News" followed by an up-close, live view of an abortion being performed, what would we do? Have we accepted this "new normal" to the point we would simply turn off our TVs and walk away? Or, would we watch in horror and sickness? Would our hearts break enough for those women and babies to get us to stop in our tracks, turn together as a nation (despite our diverse beliefs) and face the enemy. Would we say, "Stop!" "Enough!" These are our people—our future—our species.
My heart hurts for the girls and women who are faced with such a choice—each life has a personal, unique story. I wish I had an answer, a solution, on how to be more humane in our humanness. But we can trust in God who does have the answer. A God who says in Isaiah 43:19, "Behold, I will do something new . . . I will make a roadway in the wilderness. Rivers in the desert." If we pay attention, He will show the way in this tragic and wonderful adventure of life.
We can't go backwards and undo what's been done—save the unrepeatable lives that have been lost. But we can look at the reality of what (individually and as a nation) we are doing and why we are doing it. We can ask God to show us what He wants us to do in our corner of the world. Then, as God leads us, bring comfort and support to the frightened and wounded. Like those wonderful water buffalo, confront the enemy whenever we see a member of our species being threatened—for the threat touches us all and we can all do something.
Sadly, all we have to do is nothing and the enemy gets his prey.
" . . . and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NAS)
Note: I believe abortion is an issue worth fighting. However, issues are made up of individual lives. Women who need us to come alongside with compassionate support instead of judgement or indifference. If you choose this battle, may God's love and goodness flow from your heart, your words and your actions.
There are other battles (other issues) going on all around us on many fronts. I encourage you to be sensitive and ready to enlist in the challenge God chooses for you.