Pro Life by: Ryne Swann

When I think about the phrase pro-life, I think, “How can anyone be against that?” What we have done in labeling a stance “pro” something, makes the opposing side seem like they are “anti” whatever the thing is. But the thing about those of us who embrace the pro-life label, is that it often only extents to a very specific part of life. I fully support the idea of being pro-life for those who can’t defend themselves, yet are very much alive and have a very real amount of personhood. But what if our “pro” views on life extended further than the womb?

Now let me clarify and say that I am not trying to take a political stance on anything, I am simply pointing out something that I find very odd and concerning. The idea is that those of us who are followers of Jesus, should be pro-people. We should be pro-love. We should be pro-life, not just standing against abortions, but standing up for the life of humans.

I say this because it seems to me like we have made the human life equivalent to a collector’s item. In the package it is incredibly valuable, but as soon as it enters into the world unprotected, it begins to lose value until it is eventually useless. And that is not the way that God designed our outlook on life to be. He designed us to be with other people. We are made in the image of a God, who Himself, is three different persons, so relationships with people are definitely a huge part of our experience. Hence we should value all the human lives that we know.

I recently read an article that highlighted the actions of some police officers from Indiana in dealing with a homeless man. Now even when I say that, you may not want to know what happened because of the way that we, as an American society, look at human lives. But I assure you that this is a good story. This homeless man was seven feet tall and wore size 17 shoes, which not even Walmart carries. So these police officers contacted the NBA requesting ideas of how to get this man some new shoes. The NBA then donated a new pair of shoes that they had made for a former player on a team. Because of the love that these officers had for this man’s life and well-being, they were able to get him a brand new pair of shoes that will last for quite some time.

They could have just kicked the homeless man out of the waffle house, but instead, they decided that this man was worth helping because he was alive and a human. How many of us (speaking very much to myself here) would have thought to go through any effort to give a man living outside in cold weather, something that we all have extras of? I know I have been in situations where I chose comfort over loving the life of another person. But I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to live out what Paul says when he talks about becoming all things to all men, so that some may be saved.

I want to really shed myself of the selfish old flesh that I used to walk around in. I want to live like Jesus and just show love, grace, and truth to everyone I encounter regardless of their background, story, or appearance. I want to be “pro” the forgotten ones, “pro” the children who have seen too much, and “pro” those who are friendless even if they are alone because of things that they have done to hurt people.

Again, just let me say, I am not good at this. I am against abortion, but sometimes, I have a hard time saying honestly that I am pro-life. But it is my desire that I work on getting there.

I want to leave you with something that I have really been wrestling with lately. It comes from Matthew 25: 41-45:

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

Then they also will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” Then he will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

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