Pro-lifers, we are graced by our suffering

graced by our sufferingThe scene: the Iowa State Fair. Pulse Life Advocates and our allies, Iowa Right to Life, shared a pro-life booth in the Varied Industries Building a few years ago.  A woman walked by our booth and became agitated once she realized who we were. She walked up to a young woman manning our booth and spit on her. Later that evening, our signage was torn down.

Let’s put this incident in a spiritual perspective by heeding the intense scripture readings for this upcoming Palm Sunday.

Consider the first reading from Isaiah:

The Lord GOD has given me

            a well-trained tongue,

that I might know how to speak to the weary

            a word that will rouse them.

Morning after morning

            he opens my ear that I may hear;

and I have not rebelled,

            have not turned back.

I gave my back to those who beat me,

            my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;

my face I did not shield

            from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,

            therefore I am not disgraced;

I have set my face like flint,

            knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

What’s going on here?

Isaiah prophesies Christ’s passion. Dr. Peter Kreeft explains the intentions of His tormentors:

“Christs’s torturers are trying to inflict not just personal pain but also public shame and disgrace. They are, in fact, doing no such thing. Isaiah the prophet, divinely inspired, sets the future and shows us the suffering Christ saying to us, ‘The Lord God is my help, therefor I am not disgraced.’

Notice the “therefore.”  Being on the Lord’s side changes everything. Whoever is on the Lord’s side, whoever is doing his will, is never disgraced but always graced. Sometimes the grace comes in the form of joy, and sometimes it comes in the form of suffering. Suffering is not a disgrace. Martyrdom is not a disgrace. Being hated by evil men is not a disgrace. It is an honor.”

“Well-trained tongue”

Pro-lifers are called to have a “well-trained tongue” to communicate the truth of the pro-life movement, that each life has dignity from the moment of fertilization until natural death.

When pro-abortion zealots push back in disgraceful ways, like spitting on us, jeering us, and destroying our property, we should feel honored for standing up for Christ and God’s creation.

“Being hated by evil men is an honor”

Kreeft says,

“Being hated by evil men is not a disgrace. It is an honor. Being hated by good men is a disgrace. So is being loved by evil men.

Being old and wrinkled and in a wheelchair and having cancer or dementia is not “life unworthy of life.” That was the term the Nazis used to label all the people with mental and physical disabilities to justify killing them. We often do that very same thing today, but politely, and cleanly, in hospitals, by men and women in white coats who went to medical school, not in gas chambers and concentration camps. We call it “mercy killing” or euthanasia.  

Iceland recently bragged that there was not a single person with Down syndrome in the entire country: every single one of them had been aborted.  In America, 90 percent of Down syndrome babies are aborted. The philosophy behind mercy killing, at either end of life — the beginning, in the womb, or the end, in a bed — is that it is disgraceful to live when your suffering is great and your powers are few.  It is a lie.  If it were true, then Jesus was a disgrace and a fool.

Graced by our suffering

It all comes down to a simple question:  Is society the standard for judging God or is God the the standard for judging society?

We are not disgraced by our sufferings. We are graced.”

Pro-lifers: take heed.

[Don’t forget this Saturday’s 7PM pro-life benefit concert, A LIVING HEAVEN.]