How fascinating it is to watch people meet, greet, and get to know one another. It is almost like a dance; some form of courtship, where you try to present yourself in a light that you perceive the other might find pleasing and aspire to call you a friend. Invariably every time this type of meeting occurs, the question comes up, “What do you do for a living?”
It is at this question that I personally hesitate to say that I work at My Life Clinic. This hesitation does not come from the fact that I am embarrassed by my job, nor from the fact that I believe that abortion is not an option. It comes from the fact that I simply do not like confrontation.
You see, when I respond that I work for Life Network of Central Missouri, the reactions of my counterparts vary. Some respond with enthusiastic support -how relieving. Some state that they admire the efforts of people who are pro-life, but they don’t know where they stand on the matter -relieving however must make wise word choices. Some claim they believe it is a woman’s choice and respectfully disagree with my line of work -disappointing, but we can still have a pleasant conversation. Finally some declare they believe it is a woman’s choice and they are astonished that any intelligent human being would believe otherwise -I want to curl up in a little ball and hide.
Is my reaction appropriate? Well, if I were to argue that an attempt at peacekeeping was an innate human sense of self-preservation then, yes, of course! However, in reality, my identity is not found in merely being human. My identity is found in Christ. With that statement come ramifications, the list of which is endless.
To endeavor exploring one, as believers we have to be okay with being counter-cultural. Clarifying on that, not counter-cultural in being irrelevant to those you interact with, but counter-cultural through a difference in thinking and beliefs. Now I fully acknowledge I am not an authority in the area of being counter-cultural. In fact, theologians and pastors such as Francis Schaeffer or Tim Keller are far more equipped to address this. But to delve a little more, how does one who holds counter-cultural beliefs and values respond to their society’s groupthink?
In Matthew 22, Jesus clearly states that the second greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In fact, this commandment is reiterated throughout scripture. So what could it look like to act out of love towards those who disagree with you? Tim Keller, an author and pastor, makes a statement on tolerance. “Tolerance isn't about not having beliefs. It's about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.”
Tolerance is not to be confused with complacency or acceptance. Tolerance could mean - acknowledge that there are differences in opinions and respond in a way that neither condones those differences nor lacks compassion. Can we as believers level-headedly respond to a difference in opinion, especially when it deals with something as significant as human life? The short answer, yes, and it is essential if we ever wish to make headway in the fight to preserve human life.
There are beneficial components to exploring why someone believes what they do. Gentle questioning can reveal the roots of ideas and beliefs. It can be astounding how such adamant opposition to the pro-life cause can be based on very commonplace misconceptions.
In an attempt to correct misconceptions, I am announcing the Fact or Fiction series. This series will explore different topics and ways of thinking about the pro-life stance. Its main intent is to prompt our readers to think critically about how to respond to others in the community that might not have the same degree of understanding or acceptance of those who cherish all human life. We will explore various forms of misconceptions as well as how misconceptions are perpetuated in society.
I look forward to embarking down this path as it will provide opportunities for growth and reflection. It is my hope that you will join me and that we can learn and grow together.
We are constantly grateful for the ways God works through My Life Clinic to impact the lives of women and families in Mid-Missouri. In the first quarter, MLC was able to conduct 272 visits. During those visits, our staff was able to meet the medical, educational, and counseling needs of 138 women and families. Below is a photo summary of things seen and heard within the walls of the clinic.
For those of you not familiar with the childhood classic… Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who tells a story of an elephant named Horton who comes across a thistle that is the home to a colony of Whos. Both Horton and the Whos find themselves in desperate need to prove the existence of life on the thistle in order to save the thistle from being destroyed by monkeys.
The iconic, resounding statement of the Whos in Whoville represents the power of one little voice with a big impact. How much can one little voice matter? When the lives of many are impacted by the resonating sound of one, then I would say quite a bit. At times it feels that My Life Clinic is one little voice when looking at the landscape of abortion clinics, the amount of advertising dollars available to abortion facilities, and how accepting society is of abortion. MLC may be a small clinic with a seemingly small voice, but it has a big impact. The image below shows MLC’s community impact for 2013.
This blog has been a long time coming for Life Network of Central Missouri, the umbrella company over MLC. Carla Arinder, Executive Director of LNCM, has always been vocal about the fact that there needs to be a voice in the room in order to accurately represent MLC within the community. This blog will be an attempt to strengthen that voice.
Life Network of Central Missouri is committed to delivering written content with integrity. The primary goal of this blog is to provide current and accurate information to our blog readers about Life Network of Central Missouri and the work God is doing at My Life Clinic.
Commenting on posts is encouraged. The one thing asked of commenters is to remain respectful. It is completely understood that people might have opposing opinions, but those opinions can be articulated without the use of foul language or disparaging remarks. As a disclaimer, each comment is previewed for the aforementioned prior to it being posted.