Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Painful Debate and a Word About Compassion

Following is a debate that a FB friend started (and a copy of my comment). It has so far gotten 80 comments, and caused some people to "unfriend" others. How sad. The comments ran anything from, "Who do you think you are?" to, "I totally agree" and anything in between. I decided to post the "debate" question and my comment here. I'm not looking to start a debate of my own, and I certainly don't want anyone "un-blog-friending" anyone. I just decided I had something to say. I know that many people have personal experience with this or (as I am) are very close to someone who does. I do not want to make light of that in any way. That pain is HUGE. I wish that we who are Christians would learn compassion. I wish I had learned it before it was too late for my friend. Actually, I hope and pray that it's not too late. I hope that she can find healing and be at peace one day. I hope that anyone who reads this needing the lesson I learned can learn it from my mistake. And for anyone who is in the kind of pain I describe here, I have learned my lesson. I would be happy to talk and pray with you.

The debate:
So just for debates sake, lets say you are pro-choice. You believe women have the right to choose what happens to their bodies. What happens when another human being becomes involved? You wouldn't allow a woman to choose to kill her CHILD. So now lets just say that the "fetus" you are carrying happens to be a female, where is her right to choose?

My comment:
In essence, I agree with the fact that abortion is a horrible thing and shouldn't ever happen. However, I think the one thing missing in this debate is compassion for those who've felt compelled to make that choice, and for those who love and sympathize with them. I know this from experience. I used to think only of sticking up for what was "right" - the problem is that in doing so I hurt a woman who carried secret pain bigger than anything you can likely imagine unless you've been there. She'd heard so many comments like mine that she felt hopelessly worthless and that God couldn't possibly forgive her. What I said was like stabbing a knife in her already broken heart. Of course, I didn't know it at the time. She just lashed out at me about how women should have a choice, and how could I be so unfair as to say that when a woman is raped she should not have an abortion.
I didn't find out until later that I'd added to her immense pain.
I could have said the same thing, but with compassion and understanding, adding that we have a God who is full of compassion and love, and forgives us for Jesus' sake. Instead I gave the Enemy the opportunity to attack her further, and imbed the lie deeper that she was nothing, worth nothing...
She later tried to commint suicide and is as of yet steeped in alcaholism and depression, lied to all the time that she's worthless and nobody could ever love her.
Don't forget the pain that these women suffer every day of their lives. Tell the truth, but with compassion. Who really cares if people decide you're morally right, the question is are you sharing the Love of the Savior with them? Are they being healed and set free? Do you truly love others like you love yourself?
How I wish I could take those callous words back, and instead share the miracle of hope and healing through Jesus with her...
Thanks for starting this very worthwhile discussion! :) Blessings!


  1. Oh Patty, I'm sorry you are going through the thoughts of your words causing hurt to someone, that is a lot to bear. I know, a similar situation has happened to me where in the "heat of the moment" I said something that had I known the full story I would have taken a deep breath and chosen my words more carefully. I come from a mixed religious background, and regardless of my current spiritual state, I do believe in the right to life but also in showing compassion for others as you do. I really enjoy being surrounded by people of different faiths and backgrounds as long as we all share common ground of being kind to one another and hoping for a better future for our kids. I would certainly never "de-blog-friend you" (there's a term!) and respect you for putting this out there, it definitely serves as a reminder for us all to choose our words carefully and follow them up with love and understanding and possibly an opportunity for learning/redeeming oneself. Oh my I can't even go back and proofread this, it's probably one big run-on sentence and rambling! Love & hugs...

  2. Thanks for your comment, Erin. :) Love and hugs back! Oh, and do you know where you're staying on your winter vacation yet?? I'm so excited for you!

  3. We are staying at the Jackson House right in town since it's winter! We will be up there the 27th of Dec for a week, I can't wait! I know Loch is practicing "Silent Night", his first real song, and is really hoping we can fit the violin in to the car for the trip. I'm sure we'll find a way since he is excited to show Grandma & Grandpa his new skills LOL! I'll let you know more when it gets closer, Chicken Mama says she's drawing up "a list" of things to do while we're there, should I be scared? Hahahaha!

  4. :) Don't be scared! I'm sure it's all good. I must say that sounds like Chicken Mama. I think she was born to take charge, and I don't mean that in the negative sense. I'm betting you have an absolute blast! Get ready for the cold, girlfriend! It was 16 degrees this AM!! ;)