This past week has been a whirlwind of protests, violence and controversy. It has laid bare some of our biggest fears, emotions and has challenged our deep seated views and feelings, some we are proud of and some we are not.
Taking photos at one of the protests last week, I really enjoyed talking with members of the Black Lives Matter group and their organizers. I also had the pleasure of listening in on the conversations between the protest’s leaders and members of our law enforcement. I am embarrassed to say that I realized that many of my preformed opinions and views are so wrong and narrow minded. The things I felt I was so open minded about and proud of, I now realize, are ignorant and really, based on some of my illogical fears. I had convinced myself of how open minded I was. There is a comfort in constructing such a personal worldview, but we become threatened, confused and embarrassed when we are confronted with a deeper truer reality.
The view from television and social media paints a certain picture of these events and we often tend to gravitate to those views and opinions that match and validate our own. It is one thing to construct our views and opinions from our own comfort zone, but it is quite another thing, to form an opinion after really imbedding oneself into an issue and to humbly be among those who are involved.
One little girl had a shirt on that said, “See me. Hear me. Feel me.” For me, this is the main thrust of the racial unrest we are experiencing these days. We often don’t see, don’t listen and don’t want to get too close to those who are different than ourselves. Isn’t this the basis of our idea of Pro-Life? Isn’t the underlying foundation of being Pro-Life is to see, listen and feel every person….every person as life worthy of respect and dignity?
These days are challenging for us indeed, but I think it is important to understand that these issues we face are basic Pro-Life issues that we cannot shrink away from, but instead engage. The Gospel is clear on who, how and why we should love. Granted, these are terribly difficult, uncomfortable and messy parts of claiming to be Pro-Life, but I believe if we are to call ourselves Pro-Life we must insert ourselves in these issues with as much energy and effort as any of the other Life issues.
One sign that got my attention was, “All lives matter only when Black lives matter.” I believe this to be true because if we see this another way, we can embrace the idea that all lives are sacred only when the least of our brother’s and sister’s lives are sacred.