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Choose Life

Cover Image for Choose Life
Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly

So - pretty much every morning I wake up with a thought. A deep thought, and one that almost always is not okay as basic morning banter.

At this point I should introduce my husband, a professional brewer of beer and owner of a small, cozy establishment on the main street of our small town. He suffers mightily with my morning banter, often just responding with, "I haven't had my coffee yet." After over 30 years together, it's often just a nod of the head to his small, full espresso cup and a pleading look in his Irish eyes.

Pro Choose Life

So this morning, Mother's Day, I contemplated how much a choice life is.

And how much a gift it is that life is a choice. My husband and I were both blessed with moms who taught us that important axiom, "Life isn't fair" and I took it in deeply, expecting unfairness — which I have to admit has served me well over the years. As I get to know these women as adults, I get the impression that we were taught out of exhaustion and not out of a deep philisophical yearning in them. Still, the lesson stuck.

So I come at this choice with an advantage I want to acknowledge.

I suggest that if you are going to continue to read, please buckle in snuggly and prepare to offer me a wide berth of compassion and grace.

I am pro life. I am also pro choice.

Not only do I respect the right to choose, I have helped friends through the convoluted maze that was trying to get an abortion in California in the 80s. I have helped friends through the convoluted maze that was trying to get a morning after pill in California in the 80s. I have held a morning after pill under my tongue for a friend because the health authorities had somehow decided that she did not merit one. For whatever reason, I did — and

I do not think that what I did was terribly wrong. The system was incredibly corrupt, my friend needed medicine and there was no way to legally get it.

Yes, I welcome discussion.

Pro Life

But, essentially, I am pro life. Cue Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. "

Fair. I will explain. I believe that we, as Christians, must be so pro life that we value every human life, the entire time that life is here on earth.

Does that mean that abortion ought to be rare? Yes, actually, I do believe that. Do I also believe that that decision is one between you and God? YES.

You, God, and no one else? YES.

Not your parents. Not your representative in congress - whether a man or woman. Or a person who is non-binary or any representation of human.

Pro Choice

It has been quite the year. I have a dear friend in Beirut who has fallen through the cracks and is unable to leave. I bet he's pro-life in the more traditional sense but I don't know as we've never talked about it. His wife and kids are safe in Denver, but so far, he has not been able to leave. It's complicated — but his story has shown me how fragile our positions in life are. How, too, each day, we need to consciously realize we have been given the gift of life. Yes. I said it. I don't know your situation. I don't know the pain you are in. I do know that you staying in the arena, not checking out, is a choice.

It's a choice. And each day, you really do need to recommit.

Life good? Celebrate. F****** celebrate.

Life a mess? Choose life. Choose life.

I don't pretend to understand it. I'm pretty old, though, and I can say that over the years, the moments I decided to dig in and commit to life have been the moments I have gotten closer to God, closer to meaning, closer to my community, closer to myself.

Digging in and choosing life in moments where that seems like the most irrational, most inconcievably stupid choice have been moments I have looked back on with wonder, to be honest. Wonder at how - who - why I chose life. And wonder at how I came through.

I am speaking of my own journey here because I do not know yours. I do not know your pain. I frankly cannot say, definitively, that you must choose life. It is between you and God. But I will say that if you lean in to your relationship with God, They* will see you through.

Happy Mothers Day

So Happy Mothers Day, people. On this Mothers Day, please, please consider how unfortunately filled with solitude motherhood is. How, really, if you are praising your wife or mother as a Hero, something is terribly, terribly wrong and imbalanced in your life. Motherhood doesn't need to be heroic in a functional community.

*They for lots of reasons. But mainly because after much contemplation, I see God as beyond male/female. Hebrew does not use gendered pronouns as I understand it (please fill me in if you are fluent in Hebrew).