Do Not Be Silent, God

I don't wear makeup beyond a bit of mascara once a week for church, but I've always liked how dramatic and glamorous bright red lips look on a woman, even though John and the girls think makeup is very silly, indeed.  Then, a few months ago, I read something an older woman said to her granddaughter while giving fashion advice.  "Women wearing bright red lipstick and red nail polish," she remarked with distaste, "look like mama cats who've just eaten their kittens."

I've thought of this the last few weeks as I cry in the corners of our home.

I love women.  I'm a woman, after all, many of my friends are women, my mom and my sisters are women, and I love them all.  I love my troupe of little girls and the women they will someday become.  Sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of a woman on the street or in the store and immediately love her for something I see her do. Women are strong in their love; they are resolute and unyielding when protecting their own.  Lionesses all, we shield with ferocity.
We are vessels of life.

Why then are we women helping women destroy life?  We who have such limitless capacity for love, we who are given unique gifts to nurture and heal and strengthen-- we turn from all this good, stain our lips red, and eat our young.

It is my love for women that forbids me to advocate for their "liberty" to kill those who are most vulnerable.  When women and little lives are so bafflingly opposed, I must stand for those little lives, and I cannot understand those who choose not to do so.  I have spent years puzzling over friends, usually casual friends, who step over the bodies in the street, deny their presence, and continue walking.

I haven't watched any of the "sting" videos recently put out, and I don't want to enter into a debate over their presence in the world.  I do, however, pray that they, in all their flaws, will cause more light to begin shining.  Debate the content of the videos all you want, if you must, but don't let the furor turn your eyes from the fact that those "parts" of whom the talking heads speak were humans, the most defenseless among us.

I know that the world is filled with injustice of all kinds, I know I enjoy privilege, comfort, and security that so many lack, through no fault of their own. I know the world is full of hard questions for which, at times, there seem no answers. I also know that it is we who should share the night watches, shining out into darkness for whomever we can.  I know that mothers such as myself, to whom God has given the gift of easy motherhood, should speak up for those mothers and women deceived by our culture's greatest lie, should speak up for those precious babies who deserve so much more than careless slaughter.

This blog only has a handful of readers.  I generally prefer it this way because then there's no clamor to post regularly, no pressure to offer something more than hundreds of snapshots to the yawning mouth of the Internet, and no negative feedback when I fail on both counts.  So it is that this light is small and feeble, flickering in only a few, dusty corners, but here it is, regardless.

I have felt at such a loss lately, trying to pray my usual prayer, "Lord, have mercy," and choking on the words before they can even form.  We don't deserve mercy; silence makes us all culpable.  It's hard to have hope that eyes so blinded can open and hearts so bulwarked against little souls can soften, and then I read this.  The greatest of these is hope.  There is always hope.

We leave for Long Island tomorrow, and I feel like Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain.  This morning I found I couldn't start any of my unimportant work, though, until I wrote this post.  Regular shotsnaps fluff to continue hopefully next week, when I need to avoid work in a more comfortable way.  And, please, if nothing else, read those first two articles I linked to.  And if you're interested in more, First Things has many articles from writers who speak truth in diverse ways.  So, yes, read.  And then pray and love and shine out light for this dim night.


Sarah said...

I love women too & I don't limit that to women who are already born. I love the unborn woman. I love the fetal woman. I fight for her equal rights.

Renata AtSunnyside said...

Beautifully written Abigail. Thankfully I was taught from babyhood about the importance of life from conception. When they gave us the option of aborting Eli to save his twin's life, it wasn't even an option. I cannot imagine life had we considered it. (Praise God for using experimental surgery to save both babies although we knew we had a high chance of loosing both!)
I too stand up for those little ones who don't get a breath or a choice. My heart also breaks for the mother's who make such a sad choice. I've heard that they never forget.

May God have mercy on this sin-filled world.

Abigail said...

Amen to that. I've seen similar words before (on a billboard, maybe?) and was struck by the truth of such small regard for women's rights when they happen to be yet unborn. I tried to temper my words in this post because it's easy for me to love the unborn women-to-be who have everything taken away before they're big enough to know the words life or murder. It's much harder to love those who wield the knife, and I struggle to know the appropriate response. The title of this post is taken from a psalm we sing at church--Psalm 83. It leapt to my lips last week, and I found myself singing, "Pursue them with Your storms and strike with fear" instead of praying, "Lord, have mercy." And then Psalm 104 with "Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more." And then "Love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you."

I've felt so impotent against what seems most often like eagerly-sought blindness that James Conley's article was a timely reminder to pray for those who are in thrall to lies. They serve a harsh master and, like us, need grace and forgiveness. Perhaps God will use those men and women whom He's brought into Light to upend the very master they used to serve.

(Sorry for the ramble. I guess my blog post could go on forever. I should be packing the van.)

Praise God for protecting them and giving you and your husband the courage to choose life!

Laura said...

I am just heartbroken by the entire thing. It makes me so sad!

Farmgirl said...

Your blog resonated strongly with the broken sadness I've felt pondering these awful things, myself. I'm grateful for your words.

Abigail said...

Laura & Michelle,
I stand with you both in this sorrow.
Let our sadness fuel prayers and speech and love and action!

Abigail said...

p.s. Those who read the Conley article with differing theological beliefs than Conley, pray anyway. The commandment to pray for our enemies stands, and God, in His mercy, can use hardened hearts to bring about good.