Your words CAN hurt. They can do more damage that you may ever know. Simple words spoken rashly can have devastating affects. For me words lead to more isolation, depression and cutting. They at one point lead me to question if I actually should have had an abortion. Luckily that was short lived because Josef’s smile told me I made the right choice.
I as most of you know am firmly against abortion. I believe life begins and ends with god. But there is a line I won’t cross and this weekend I witnessed the line crossed. I got so mad, I screamed at the people.
Who? Well-meaning mostly Christian people gathered outside an abortion center. I knew one of them from church. They were getting in front of women who were going in to get presumably abortions. The clinic also does pregnancy screening and will prescribe birth control, prenatal vitamins and other things for the women who come in. So I say presumably.
Now I believe fully in telling women that there are choices. It’s fine to try and teach what we believe. But it has to be done from a position of love. A position of compassion for what the woman is going through as well as her unborn child.
What I witnessed was very far removed from that position. Holding sings in front of women calling them sinners and murders. I do believe it is murder to take an innocent life. I do believe babies are life, even from conception. But I’d never presume to judge and belittle others like that.
I know I can’t and won’t impose my beliefs on others. To me god is the only judge if it is murder. I was in their place once. Pressured to abort a baby and no one would have blamed me. Fourteen, pregnant from rape, scared and confused.
I was told abort the fetus it won’t make it to birth, you have your whole life ahead of you don’t ruin it being burdened with a baby, god won’t blame you for this, and my favorite it’s your body and you shouldn’t have to ruin your body with a baby at this age.
But ultimately I knew this baby was a life. I knew god gives life and he takes it away. So I made the harder choice to have the baby. I’m glad I did too.
We need to teach that there are other choices and not belittle those confused, scared and already broken who seek abortions. They will endure trauma from that choice, they may be judged by god. But they shouldn’t be judge and condemned by mankind.
This upset me for sure but it didn’t send me over the edge. As one young girl passed by she was accosted by signs and people in her way. As she stepped around them the man I go to church with screamed out “Walk away you slut god has judged you already!” and he muttered “filthy whore you’ll burn in hell” under his breath.
I know how that word hurts and I was in tears as I screamed at him. I was in tears before I opened my mouth to correct him. I told him and all those present that words hurt, god judges not mankind. I told him I was called a slut and a whore because I was a fifteen year old in high school who choose not to murder my baby.
His defense? “If you don’t want to be called what you are then don’t fuck around in high school. Save it for marriage!”
I lost it. The police came because I was “irrational”. They (the policemen) were very nice to me, trying to calm me down. When I calmed down they told me I had to leave and they wouldn’t arrest me.
I stopped at him and said proudly “Well if being raped at fourteen makes me a slut and a whore then I am a proud slut and whore. I choose to not murder the baby conceived in rape because my baby did not harm to anyone. Matter a fact you’ve seen my son in your own church. Perhaps that girl had been raped too and people like you drove her to this choice!”
I left the area in the police car. But before we left the police man told me I handled myself well and that he’d be right back. I saw the exchange between he and the man and it was tense. The officer told him Christ isn’t about hurting others like he hurt me and that he owed me an apology.
I never got the apology. Honestly I don’t need it. I’m better now but I wanted to bring this to you my readers. You can be for or against abortion but please remember.
First; god judges because only god has all the facts and a perfect heart.
Second; your words can hurt. Words caused my depression to deepen, being called a slut and a whore when in fact I should have been called a hero and brave drove me to a very deep depression. Those words drove me to cut and hurt myself, drove me to be what they called me because hey when I played the part the names stopped.
Third; just step back judgment free and teach, not preach. Especially when a subject is so delicate that it could cause great harm to another. Your words could save a baby and the mother or they could steel the mother to be to make the wrong choice.
After all god is about love not judgment and hate. Words can cause great harm and for that you will stand in judgment someday. Not by me, but by the one you can’t hide your won ugly sin filled life from. The same I will stand before a sinner with an ugly life.
But it’s my hope I will stand before him having brought his love to as many as I could. I hope to stand before him free of harming others by my own selfish and pious judgments. I don’t feel the need to be better than you, I only need the be the best most compassionate me that I can be. I will hold my head high if I’ve been the best me that I could be.
My life will still be ugly and sin filled. But my ugliness won’t be projected on others in judgment.
Also consider this: If your words of judgment further drive a woman to have an abortion wouldn’t you be complacent in the same murder you’re trying to prevent? But if you teach from love not judgment the life you save maybe your own.
Words lead me to a desperate place. One where with each cut, all the pain I felt like I deserved it. I know better now. But when I was already broken and confused, their words cut worse than any knife. They cut me deeply and those scars remain.
My son on Sunday told this man that “My mother is a hero but your gutter mouth only knows the word whore, how I pity you.”
I wish him well in his future but the pastor wasn’t pleased by his actions, you see the policeman was an elder at that very church. Sundays normal lesson was preempted by a new sermon. One where the pastor told the parish that reckless judgment and hurting others is the surest way to hell.
He said: “If you want fire and brimstone and to know hell. Then walk the path that harms his children and make yourself the judge of man. This is the surest path to his judgment and a sure footing to hell itself.”
Later he said: “God will remember your pious nature, he will judge as you judge. He will judge your action to his word and not his son’s life to your salvation. It is my belief that if you really want to go to hell then you will usurp god as judge and he will not be pleased.”
He closed with: “When we make ourselves judge and jury toward others. God will hold us to the same judgment.” And he quote Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
The pastor asked me if I was ok after mass. I said yes. He also asked if I wanted him to talk to the man. I said no. I told him he will do as he does and I said my piece on the matter. The policeman just gave me a hug. He said your boy is right you are indeed a hero.
Sometimes I don’t feel like one. But I am happy god guided my hands to save my child. The little life he entrusted to me some fifteen years ago.
On May the 11th 1999 I was blessed for choosing life with the child I call my son. Some don’t understand how I could love a child conceived in rape. I don’t see how I couldn’t. He is god’s son and he committed no sin worthy of death or a life without love. He was conceived in hate and anger, he was born into love and hope.
That is what he is to me, my little bundle of hope.
This person though Christian didn’t demonstrate the same values I know are Christian. The values I’ve been taught are truly Christian are based in love. This man also is not all men. I was careful to say mankind meaning all people men and women. Thanks, Michelle