By Jenna Siek
“I’m not pro-life enough.” This thought understandably convicts many people who are involved in the pro-life movement. With abortion service nationally available, suicide rates increasing, and euthanasia becoming a cultural norm, fighting for life is a huge job, one that demands attention. It’s easy to see where we fall short, easy to believe, “I’m not pro-life enough.”
When I’m faced with this accusation, I’ll be honest – things look pretty grim: I’ve never presented in front of a legislative body, never rescued a baby from abortion, and never even been able to attend the March for Life! I haven’t done a lot of things that could make a difference for life.
However, I am slowly learning that affirming life is not just a civic endeavor. Sometimes the best — and most difficult — ways to live “pro-life” are right in front of me; I just need the eyes to see them.
When I began working at my local crisis pregnancy center, I felt like a girl on a mission. My brain concocted noble visions of me sacrificing time and energy to become best friends with all the clients. I imagined giving them sage advice and cuddling their kids. But I’ll be honest, working there isn’t actually as glamorous as I imagined. Once a week, I arrive (hopefully on time) and pray with the volunteers; then I lift a vast tower of manilla envelopes onto my desk and begin entering the information they contain into a database. ‘Bold,’ ‘sacrificial,’ and ‘romantic’ aren’t the adjectives I’d use to describe this job. ‘Prosaic,’ ‘tedious,’ or just ‘eh’ come to mind. Yet, the work I do is important to the center. The work I do enables life to be upheld.
You probably have jobs like this, too. Maybe you’re not a receptionist at a pregnancy center, but I’m guessing you engage in tasks that feel regular and dull. You might even feel a little bit like a machine at times, doing the same thing over and over again. Yet, you tenaciously persist. Why? Because these daily duties are opportunities for you to shine God’s light in the darkness around you. As you carry out your vocation, you are doing the work God has called you to do, and that work is a blessing to others.
Each day contains 86,400 seconds, and each one of them is a gift from a Creator who cares about the seemingly insignificant moments of life. While we may not be equipped to address the Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of abortion access, we can hold the door for a busy mom at Walmart. And though not everyone is trained to professionally care for the elderly, all of us can start a conversation with a lonely widower at church. Maybe this is why Lutheranism and the pro-life cause go so well together. Martin Luther’s emphasis on the importance of our vocational callings reminds Christians that we needn’t go out of our way to look for ways to please God. Frequently, God places opportunities to serve Him by serving and upholding the lives of others right in front of us. Isn’t that handy?
I do not mean that speeches, degrees, or demonstrations are inconsequential. Being civically involved with pro-life work is a valuable activity which we should all consider. We need Christians to uphold life publically, especially those who have been blessed with the skills and opportunities to be a voice for the voiceless in public square. But there is also great beauty in daily tasks, those that don’t receive much attention otherwise. We are called to be faithful in the little things, and sometimes those are the things which challenge us most.
So the next time your guilt or boredom whispers, “I’m not pro-life enough,” recognize that the daily, vocational opportunities you have to uphold life can and do spread hope instead of despair. Most of all, they spread the love and LIFE of Christ. These simple tasks and small moments really do matter, and so does the effort it takes you to fill them.