A couple days ago I was at a farmer’s market in downtown Phoenix. The sun had just come up and the air was the perfect of amount of chilly — just enough to feel a little wintery. I was carrying a cup of fresh, hot coffee, and wrapped up in a warm fleece jacket and scarf. A slow stroll through rows of crafts and tables of vegetables, amidst a crowd of my fellow morning-people was just what I needed to begin a weekend of relaxation. It had been a long week at work and I couldn’t wait to have some “me time.”
I perused the tents looking for potential Christmas gifts, and humming along to the Christmas carols being played by a violinist on the street corner, looking to make a couple dollars. As I bent down to pet a basset hound wearing a Christmas sweater, I was pretty sure my morning could only get better if Jesus Himself appeared for the Second Coming.
As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to stop by one more table. I walked up all smiles, and asked the woman standing there what the organization was that she was promoting.
Five minutes later I walked away from the table and stood on the outskirts of the market, tears streaming down my face, uncontrolled by me, who was left wrecked by a reality I was unaware of until now.
What that woman told me was that she is part of an organization that places jugs of water out in the desert around Arizona for refugees who have, often times, been walking for weeks. They started doing this because thousands of dead bodies have been found in the desert. Bodies of refugees who could have survived if only they had water.
She had a poster picturing the state of Arizona and it was covered in little red dots — each dot representing a person who had been found dead in the desert.
This past year I’ve been so moved by the refugee crisis in the middle east. I feel helpless to do anything to make a big difference, and yet my heart aches for those with no home and no place to go. I felt like the problem was so far away, and surely, if it were happening closer to me, I would be one of the first to do something.
After all…. I am pro-life.
Pro-life. That’s what this is about.
It’s not about politics. It’s not about fear or entitlement. It’s about the lives of those we share this earth with. Lives that have dignity and worth whether they are in the womb, in a wheelchair, in a boat on the mediterranean, or wandering the Arizona desert. At the end of the day, it’s not up to me to make the right “political” choice in that moment when I’m faced with a brother or sister who is hurting… it’s up to me to help protect life… and to love.
That’s what God will judge me on — did I love well? Did I love the poor, the forgotten, the sick, the weary, the broken? Did I love when it was the most difficult? Did I love and not count the cost, or look for something in return? Did I love life enough to help protect the lives of others?
These are the questions heavy on my heart as I ponder how to move forward now.
I am privileged to live a life of incredible luxuries despite the fact that I fit into a lower tax bracket than others with more wealth. I can go days without thinking about what I have to be thankful for because I take it all for granted. God has blessed me with so much and that’s okay. That’s a good thing. But it also means I have a responsibility to use my life to do good for others.
Especially if I’m pro-life.
Especially if I’m Christian.
Especially if I have a heart that’s blessed to be broken for the weak.
Because while I’m worried about what purse I should buy, someone else is worried about where their next cup of water is going to come from.
My prayer is simply that God would should me how He wants me to love today, however big or small that may be.
What would happen if you prayed the same? Ask for the grace to have a heart that breaks for injustices, and weeps for any loss of life – regardless of their nationality or age.
I’m praying for you.
Here are a couple ways you can get involved to help out our brothers and sisters in need: