A Right? Or a Homicide?

I am overwhelmed with grief every time I've read our local news this past week. I'm grappling with issues like personal responsibility, moral ethics, the social role of the Church, and injustice.

By personality more than conviction, I avoid politics, boycotts and debates. Yet news like this makes me wonder where to start, even. I don't claim to see the root issue or to offer ultimate solutions. But while my mind is mystified, my heart is breaking.

I'm not linking to the story; it is indeed, as the reporter describes, "horrendous." Several days ago, a 15-year-old girl gave birth to a baby boy. Within several hours, she killed him. Her doctor's visit the next day prompted suspicion; the situation was investigated and the truth was revealed.

She is charged with capital murder.

The baby boy is included on the list of area homicides this year.

The outcry is passionate. Judgments and rumors are cruel and rampant.

For whom is my heart breaking?

A girl who could be my little sister, who is in jail tonight? My feelings are not justifying her actions ... but the family situation, the belief system, and the emotions that led to the actions is mind-boggling to me.

A precious baby boy?

Even more so, ironically, my heart breaks for others.

I read as the news mentions a concerned doctor; a team of policeman fulfilling their job; a local court system striving for justice. But as the media and involved authorities focus on this case...

I see the unnamed babies.

Our country, culture and Church have approved as these same people turn a blind eye to identical situations that occur constantly. How has abortion become socially acceptable? The word abortion is now political, not personal. I can't comprehend the passion that this one story arouses, while silence is the signature of aborted babies around the world. Do you believe me that over three thousand babies are reported killed every day in the United States?

So are we discussing rights or homicides? Apparently, it's only a matter of location.

It's much easier to complacently ignore an idea than to painful face reality. Did German Christians embrace Hitler's agenda? No. They simply allowed it.

For the next aborted baby girl, there will be no policemen, no media, no prosecutors. For the next aborted baby boy, there will be no charges, no jail, no news report.

Will there also be no outcry?


Time to See the Big Picture

What is that noise?! Why is the phone ringing? Was it late…or early? Searching frantically for the phone in the dark, I clean off the bedside table.

“Hey. Are you coming soon?”

Coming? I just went to bed. “Yeah.” I slam the phone down and grope for the clock. The sleepy fogginess fades away as horror strikes me. Surely that was just a wake-up call!? The clock lit up and my heart sinks: the bus to the airport was supposed to leave in six minutes.

This scenario that occurred over nine thousand miles away is not one I’d like to remember. Although I’d be glad to forget that morning, I wouldn’t want to forget many gracious people, and the miracle of making it to the airport in time.

Surely you’ve experienced the gut-wrenching realization of missing your alarm. It happened to me last week. And although it didn’t affect many circumstances or people, my attitude was far worse than the actual situation.

Waking up to my cell ringing, I was frustrated even before stumbling across the room to pick it up. Thinking it was an alarm and not a phone call, I cancelled Dad’s call before I was thinking straight. Dad! He must be at the feedlot waiting for me! In the next ten minutes as I rushed out the door, I spoke words for which I later had to apologize. But worse, as I rushed to leave, as I drove away, as I did my job, as I was returning home … I had a complaining spirit. I was irritated when I should have been grateful. I was griping about a problem for which I should have taken responsibility. My attitude gave me a heavy heart as I worked.

It is only a few miles to drive home—east. And as I drove, God convicted my heart.

I was driving just when the sun rose over the horizon. Instead of bursting flames of light, though, it was a stunning pink crescent. It was subtle, but deep. It was bright, but intriguing. It was so beautiful that I couldn’t believe it.

The sun kept rising until the entire, huge circle was visible, but still it didn’t explode with light. It was simple perfection, ultimate beauty.

I was humbled by how big my God is. I was awed that He would love me when I was complaining against Him. I was amazed that He would reveal a glimpse of His majesty.
God wants me looking to Him, not circumstances. God wants me to be praising His goodness, not falling to Satan’s ploy of selfish complaining. Because when I’m consumed with myself, how can I see God’s big picture?

The heavens declare the glory of God … and God does not give His glory to another. If my life—my words, my attitudes, my actions—is not glorifying God, He will change things so that it does.

P.S. The night before the introductory scenario occurred, it was yours truly who generously offered to provide wake-up calls. Go figure.


Give Me a Light

Additional thoughts to my last post ...

I said to the man, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."

And he replied: "Step out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be better to you than a light and safer than any known way."


"I'd like to make an order, please."

"Hi, can I help you?"

"Yeah ... I'd like one Life GPS to go, please."

"Sure. Would you like ketchup with that order?"

"No, thanks."

I pay for this priceless jewel and drive away. It takes several moments to initialize. That's okay ... I've been waiting so long that a couple more minutes won't hurt.

The little screen lights up to show a colored map. With a happy sigh I see everything I've been waiting for: my life, in relation to everything in the world. Finally!

Wow, this is better than a Garmin! Not only is there one time for "Estimated Arrival," there are multiple clocks ticking down as I move.

"Estimated Arrival for Moving: ___"

"Estimated Arrival for Marriage: ___"

"Estimated Arrival for Kids: ___"

One thing I love is how accurate these are. It's good to know when to expect stuff like this. And finally: I have the satisfaction of chosing the route I want to take to each destination.

I should note: I'm not a good navigator. I know people who glance at a city map and are totally oriented no matter where they go. The thought of possessing this ability makes me sick, it's so foreign. So when I hear a voice speaking directions out of my new Life GPS, my heart absolutely sings. This is definitely my type of navigation!

I have never traveled so carefree. I fly along until the voice pipes up: "In two minutes, make decision to accept offer." I happily notice the speed shown: low maintenance.

Do you know how wonderful verbal turn-by-turn directions are in life? It even tells me ahead of time when to change lanes so I don't have to make last-minute decisions at an unknown intersection or merge.

If I ever wonder, I can check the screen and see how I relate to everything around me. No longer do I wonder about my relationships, efficiency or priorities--I can see it all.

One of my favorite features is the delay notification. Whenever there are conflicts or challenges ahead, my Life GPS lets me know and I can choose another route. I shake my head, thinking back over how much time I lost in the past, when I got stuck in those areas. Efficiency ... I'm personifying it.

I glance in my rearview mirror and see a sign: "Laura: acknowlege Me in all your ways, and I will direct your paths." I freeze and look back at my Life GPS screen. I can scroll through upcoming turns ... I can see estimated arrival times ... I can see the whole map.

"For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18). "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam. 3:25-26).

I had tried to forget what I paid for this Life GPS, but now it all came back to me.

Priceless, indeed.

For a chance at knowing my future, I had sacrificed trust in a sovereign God. For turn-by-turn directions, I had given up the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit. For a way to avoid challenges, I had rejected the grace that Christ was offering.

I flipped the screen off ... and returned to the McDonald's menu.

"Yeah ... one iced coffee with cream, no sugar, please."

"Is there anything else I can get for you?"

"Nope. That's all."

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hand" (Psalm 31:14-15).