I don’t know what it is about this young year. Perhaps it’s the unusual cold or the unrelenting snow. But for some reason the last month has been marked by an unusual number of people trying to get involved in my personal spiritual life.
As a married person I just do not understand this. People don’t come up to you and say “I think you’re not having enough sex with your husband.” They aren’t given to leaving notes on your blog about how you probably ought to stop faking orgasm–even though you don’t, but they suspect you just might be.
To me it’s the same thing when someone, unsolicited, makes pronouncements about another person’s faith journey. In fact, I’ve been with God longer than I’ve been with my husband. More than twice as long, actually. The relationship we have, God and I, is deeper and stronger a bond than I can describe. Even though I’m a writer. It’s very hard to explain to outsiders the intimacy of a relationship where one entity is so ingrained a part of another’s thoughts and actions. God is the driving force pushing me through life, but also the small itch at the back of my mind urging me to little things. God is the radio station I still tune out when God says something I don’t want to pay attention to.
My illness is the canvas on which God is painting new pictures for me. It is the parchment on which I receive new love letters, new Sonnets from the Heavenlies. My illness keeps me from going to Sunday church but does not keep me from worship, from communing with God.
Yet somehow I don’t quite think that every interaction I have with God needs to be examined by people outside of us. I especially don’t think my relationship with God needs to be questioned because of a political position I hold, once held or am presumed to have changed over time.
The main question that leads people to find my relationship with God suspect is my position on Abortion. Let me be perfectly clear on this. My position on abortion has not changed in 30 years. What has changed is how I think Christians–specifically this particular Christian–should approach it. As a Christian I think our first duty on this strange earth is to proclaim the love of Christ. And I have NEVER thought that waving posterboard covered in invective and grotesque photographs really gets that message across. I have never thought that hate was Christlike, even though many of the people in the Abortion war think they are doing the work of Christ.
I now think, as I grow older and meet more women who have had abortions, who might have abortions and who regret either having or not having an abortion, that the response I am called to is one of compassion in delicate situations. Do I think abortion is ending a life? Yes, I do. But I also think the common response to abortion has been to end the life of the woman as well. Maybe not physically but emotionally and spiritually.
This is a question full of thorns, and one I’m still not sure of how to best handle. But I do know that I am doing what I am called by God to do. Even though I’m quite sure that is not really anyone else’s business.