Thursday, April 5, 2012

A rant and a plea

Every once in a while, I feel the need to rant. Most of the time my rants are only heard by my supportive and loving husband, but this particular chain of thoughts has been bubbling up inside of me for a long while and I think it's time to share- especially because this weekend is Easter.
(I also feel the need to disclose upfront that this rant is about Christians and abortion- a very emotional topic.)

Because of the Gospel, Christians should be the most loving, supportive and biggest 'grieving with the grievers' there are, but unfortunately this is not always true. (And also because of the Gospel, there is grace, so so much grace... for me, for you.)

Most Christians will knock you over with their belief that all life begins at conception and that the sanctity of life extends to a baby in the womb. This is my belief as well.
But what (usually) doesn't knock you over is the support and love of those same Christians when your precious baby, the life inside of you, dies.

I am blown away by some (NOT all by any means) Christians who will go on and on and on and on about how abortion is wrong because murder is wrong. They will stand outside of abortion clinics and loudly protest, or on university campuses holding pictures of some mother's baby after abortion. They will lobby for laws against abortion and try to convince anyone and everyone to believe what they do about life at conception and the sanctity of the life inside a woman's womb.

But in my experience, after a loss during pregnancy some of these same Christians will tell you that 'it' was only a miscarriage, that there was probably something wrong with 'it' anyways. Or that it's better that it happened sooner rather than later. Or that it's better this way because at least we didn't know them yet. Or they will tell you that they hope it works out the next time.

Let me stop here and emphasize that when you call an unborn baby 'it' you are devaluing God's precious child. You are dehumanizing a real person when you refer to a loss during pregnancy as something that didn't work out.

I am not writing this rant to condemn. Really, I'm not. Yes, I want to call out sin as sin but what I want to impress is that we have a solemn opportunity when the tragedy of loss during pregnancy occurs to proclaim and demonstrate our belief in the sanctity of life beginning at conception.

How about instead of knocking someone over with a protest sign against abortion, we stand beside those who have lost their babies during pregnancy and validate their children's lives. What if we used our voices to support and love and console women whose babies' lives were only lived within their mothers' wombs instead of shouting words of condemnation.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't speak out against abortion (and this is a whole other topic and rant in and of itself), but condemning a woman for having an abortion (because we believe that life begins at conception) and then in the same context devaluing a human being's life by calling the baby 'it' and making a mother feel like their baby is less of a baby because they did not take a breath... well, that's a damn shame. (To add to this, grace. Grace. Grace. There is so much grace.)

If we really believe that life begins at conception and want to extend the sanctity of life to an unborn but real person, then we should grieve the loss of a child by miscarriage or stillbirth as no different than the loss of a person who dies after birth.

We, who have been loved and pursued and redeemed through no merit of our own by our Heavenly Father, should cover these women with love. We should validate and value the lives of their babies; babies who are loved not through merit but by the simple and incredible fact that they belong to their mothers and fathers. We must grieve with these mothers and fathers.

If our eyes have been opened by the Gospel then no dark corner of our hearts can go unchanged.

For me personally, if you want to make a huge difference in my day (or week or month) then refer to my son, Owen, as a person. Call him by his name and tell me that you think of him or that you wish he was here with us. He was a person (and he still is a person) though he did not take a single breath. I do not measure his life by the number of breaths he took, or the days he lived, or the growth chart on our doorway or birthday parties we planned. I do not grieve the person he could have potentially been. I grieve him, his absence and the heartbreaking fact that we are separated from each other. This is unfortunately not how most people see my son. They picture a pregnancy that didn't turn out, or a faceless nameless fetus that somehow disappeared when he died. It is a damn shame, and it breaks my heart....
Because his story is beautiful....

His Story is BEAUTIFUL.


Tesha said...

I do not have the word through my tears to be able to say how much I LOVE this post!!!! You are so right, I have been so hurt by anti abortion activist that actually call my precious Jonathan a blob...WHAT???? A blob with arms and legs and eyes and ears and a soul that will live forever. I wish this could be published in Christianity today! I am so blessed by this!

You should read this "I am a bit disturbed Baby Center would allow a blogger to say miscarriage is not baby death. Miscarriage is classified as 19 weeks and under which is a very well formed "baby". If you agree, please go sign the petition." ~Robyn Bear

{{{OWEN}}} you have a wonderful mommy, her love for you shins bright!

Sara said...

Love you Ebe... Love your Owen and can't wait to meet him face to face in Heaven... praying for you sweet friend!

Tonya said...

Wow! This is a GREAT post Ebe! I haven't been on blogger in a while, but I'm so glad I did tonight. I love you. I love Owen. And just like Sara, I can't wait to meet him in heaven. And, of course, Grady, too! Love you SO MUCH!!!!!

Keisha Valentina said...

Preach it sister. I mean, seriously... AMEN.

docmama said...

Very messed up false dichotomy- one issue is political and we can speak loudly about that one, and one is just awkward and makes us feel bad so we try to move on to the next topic. But "a person's a person, no matter how small," whether we wanted them in our family or not. Maybe our theology of life isn't quite what we thought when it gets right down to it?

I know Owen and Charlie ( and Chipmunk and Sunshine) are basking in the light of our risen Savior this Easter weekend. Praise Jesus that he made a way for us to be with them again. Love you guys! Knox says hello to Hannah Mae!

Freya said...

I think this is a really good, true, point, Ebe. For me, I found that a lot of people just didn't know what to say or how to say it. I basically felt like I could really only fully grieve with my Husband because it was too much heartache to have to teach other people what to say while in so much pain (seriously). And now, unless it's relevant to them, I just don't bring it up because they just don't really get it. I think you are really strong at pointing out to people that Owen is a person and how they can relate to you about him--which I think I'm just not that good at. I also think people just want you to be happy, and they think that means moving on from what wasn't but would have been (in a perfect world: sweet little Owen) and so instead focus on what could be or what is now (like sweet Hannah Mae!) Anyway, I'm not defending anyone here, I just understand better the more time between me now & our losses how completely unaware most people are unless this happens to them--you know what I mean?
I love that Owen gets to have the best Easter's EVER, every year! That's great.
Take care, all of you!

Love, Freya

Elisabeth said...

Beautifully written! Thank you! This has been my experience with my Gracie and my other precious baby as well.

And it is an excellent reminder as well for me to grieve with other mothers who are now walking in the trenches of grief that I walked through years ago and not forget their children as others forgot mine.