No, it is not Christmas. Not even close. It is right in the middle of Summer. I am right in the middle of the first absolute period of perfect downtime that I can remember ever having in my adult life. I am enjoying the physical downtime, but the mental wheels have never stopped. Here I am visiting someone who lives some 500 miles from us and she doesn't remember the WEP Code of her wireless email broadcaster. So, I am writing this in Word and getting it ready for the oven. When I get back to my working cave, I will unleash it on all you unsuspecting denizens of Dion’s sandbox. I have decided that this is going to be one of those semi-religious, totally moral offerings. I am sharing time with an intimate friend who is a very special person indeed. She is admirable. She is a person who is a pillar of righteousness on the model of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to say nothing about Jesus Himself.
Like the couple in the representation on the upper right quadrant of the page, she had to make a choice once that was similar to the one that Joseph and Mary had to make. You can read all about them in the Good Book, Matthew 1; 18 – 25. Can you imagine what it was like to get pregnant out of wedlock in a society where you could get stoned to death? Can you imagine what would have happened to Joseph had he been found out as the protector of such a woman? Read the paragraph and imagine what Mary and Joseph had to go through in trying to make up their minds about how to thread that needle and still stay alive. They did it. They made the choice for Life. Not just the Life in the womb, but theirs as well. Now, that was a Choice. Our beloved friend did not have to dig that far down into herself to make the choice for life that she did, but given the social environment in which she made the choice, it was not easy. It never is. Not for anybody.
She made the choice for life at the sacrifice of her own. Under her singular circumstances, she knew that she would have to take herself and the child through life alone. No, she was not in the imminent danger of being stoned. As far as we can tell, she was not in danger of dying. Neither was the new being in her womb. She chose life when she could have just as easily chosen death. Yes, it could have been easy. In some ways, that is. In some ways it could have been easier than nurturing life. But in the mind, heart and soul of the righteous person who was confronted with the choice, life was the only acceptable path. Yes, even to the detriment of her very own reputation. She did it. Like Joseph, she let the other party completely off the hook. Like Joseph, she saved three lives and now all three can celebrate the wonder of life in some kind of comfort.
The child is no longer a child. A loving daughter, yes, who is now an accomplished adult. Not just an adult, but one who has a family of her own and even in these lean times, can claim a modicum of comfort and security that allows for the safe and warm upbringing of her own child. Her own mother humbly celebrates her choice for life in a modest level of comfort that she can maintain through the loving support of her immediate family and her own professional accomplishments.
Yes, the choice of life before and after conception is the choice for life and gusto in this world. The choice in favor of life is not made on the spur of the moment. The choice in favor of life is made on the way to adulthood. The choice in favor of life is an eternal vow that develops in the very mind, heart and soul of the maturing human. The choice in favor of life is a non-negotiable position in favor of the entire human community, not solely in favor of an individual. The choice in favor of life is the most generous choice that any human can make for the sake of the larger human community. The world is enriched by EVERY new life that is created. Yes, I say that without reservations.
Furthermore, and in conclusion I say without reservations that every choice for death causes the impoverishment of the human community, be it through abortion, adult homicide, war, civil punishment, suicide or whatever other category I have overlooked. I am celebrating the courage and the love of my dear friend, her wonderful child and the other lives that have been touched and influenced by these deeply righteous, richly human people. We should all be this powerful in our expression of the gift of human freedom.