Finding my delight in the journey of adoption.

More than a Vote

I voted.  I don’t feel great about it this year.

It’s not political.  Regarding the presidential choices, I just don’t think there’s much of a difference this year.    I honestly don’t think that in 4 years you would be able to say who was President if you didn’t know.  So, I don’t see much reason to get worked up about it.

Everyone gets nauseated about the vitriole spewed and the dramatic language people use.  It’s always been that way.  It’s not getting worse.  If you go back and read about the race between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, you will see the same thing.  I’m sure lots of old white men threatened to move back to England if their candidate didn’t win.

So, we voted.  Now what?  We get fired up about issues every 2 or 4 years and do all this work posting on FB about our political beliefs and arguing at dinner parties about the issues, but I can’t help but feel like voting is just one of the many ways we have to try and change society.

It’s easy to vote.  It’s one day, and it’s basically fun.  You have an excuse to be late to work.  It’s hard to actually do things.

For instance, let’s take abortion.  I’m picking this because it’s a huge voting issue for a lot of people, even though in my personal opinion, voting does very little to change this issue in either direction.  But, it’s an issue people feel passionately about, and I get it.

The interesting thing about abortion is that most people believe that it would be good if the number of abortions went down.  The groups tend to disagree about the method of getting that number down, focusing mostly on legality and access.  This morning, as I listened to people at my church talk about how important it is to vote for candidates who don’t support the legalization of abortion [none of which is running for President, mind you], the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

I know so many people who are passionately against abortion, but I don’t know a lot of people who are actively trying to help women who are considering it.  I started thinking about the ways we as a body of believers can get in the trenches to support women in difficult situations.

What if our churches provided free day cares for single parents?

What if we were willing to have our taxes increased to pay for support services, good education, and health care for women?  Or if you freak out about raising taxes, what if we donated the money?

What if we supported programs to mentor young girls and empower them to make healthy choices?

What if we were willing to adopt babies with special needs?

What if we took in foster children and raised them as our own?

What if we fostered adolescent girls in our homes with their babies?

Would some of these things actually help to lower the abortion rates in our country?

See, it’s easy to vote.  To pass out flyers and videos with gruesome photos.  To call people murderers.  To tell people to get a job.  To say it’s not my problem.

Those aren’t biblical values.  Jesus calls us to sell everything and give it to the poor.  He commands that we love our neighbors as ourselves.  He tells us to take up the cross and follow him – to be crucified alongside of him.

Vote or don’t vote.  I’ve not seen a no biblical command to do either.  But, Jesus did say “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”  That command I want to take seriously.

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6 responses

  1. Jenny

    Oh, I love love love this, Amanda. Thank you for putting this truth so eloquently. This has been on my heart since I read Sr. Pat Farrell’s response to the Vatican’s recent criticism of American nuns. Although I disagree with most of what she says, her comments on what “should” be meant by pro-life struck me. The current take on it is unsatisfying–and I suspect that’s because God’s calling us to more.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

  2. Love this post though I would say it is very important to vote. It is more important to put action behind your beliefs.

    November 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

  3. As youth pastor, I’ve (fortunately & unfortunately) been able to love on some teens who have become parents unexpectedly. We all know having children changes lives, and the younger you are – the more dramatic that can be. May our churches (read: may we) hear the call beyond voting, as you’ve reminded us here. 🙂

    November 13, 2012 at 5:23 am

    • okay, so I just realized my comment makes it sound as if I may have gotten someone pregnant. I meant….”show God’s love to teens who are pregnant”. Sorry…I probably over-analyzed what I wrote. 🙂

      November 13, 2012 at 5:25 am

  4. TAO

    As an adoptee – thank you…for looking behind the trite phrases of just give the baby up for adoption with no recognition of the life-long grief in that regards, and instead to suggest real assistance ideas to help family preservation when possible.

    As the daughter of a doctor who had to try to save the lives of women who came to him after they had back alley abortions and how horrifed he was over what was done to them. A deeply religious man who came to feel that there needed to be safe and legal abortions, because illegal was harming and killing women, and thirty years after R v W he was still haunted by what it was like. I am not trying to say he was for abortions, but he felt the price of illegal abortions was just too high, and of course he advocated for preventative steps as the preferred alternative. Those doctors who took care of women are gone now so they can’t speak out anymore to tell about when there weren’t contraceptives and the very steep price paid by women.

    Feel free to delete this comment as I realize it is a very sensitive subject – but looking at the concern in the ways you describe is the right way. Mom and dad practiced that in many different ways over the years from being the home the kids went to after school, to providing temporary shelter at times, to helping others get the schooling they needed, or being the person to turn too for moral, or parenting advice, and even free medical care. So many different ways that any individual can help, and you know what – it comes back to you ten-fold – some of those kids still visit mom decades later and call her grandma, and or keep in touch via phone.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    • Thanks for your comment. I think it’s a really valid viewpoint that gets ignored in the polarizing. Really appreciate you sharing!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

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