Love Changes Everything (Part Three)

Sometimes it’s hard to see how everyone’s point of view can be satisfied when we look at the difficult issues facing society today, but somehow we have to come together in consensus to find decisions to the problems that confront our society.  There are no guarantees that what you decide to do will work, but in the end there are always two principal choices in life: act or don’t act.  With either choice there are pitfalls and difficulties – but that’s true of most everything in life.  That’s why I think the middle road that runs through love is the only answer to the problems facing our communities and society today.

I believe that only love can lead to civil and polite political discourse and debate, that takes into consideration everyone’s views to produce the best possible solution and outcome.  It doesn’t matter if it is a, “liberal” idea or a, “conservative” idea – or even if it is a radical idea – if it works who cares?  Too often in life people worry about who wins and who loses.  People drive down the highway like they’re the only person on the road and that the traffic rules and regulations don’t apply to them.  Many people think that if they collect the most, “things” in life, that somehow they can show the world they’ve won.  The next day someone gets cancer, or dies in a car wreck or a storm washes or blows it all away; and all of a sudden what did it all matter?  Why is the lesson of love so difficult to learn – and practice while we can?

Life is so very precious and fragile, and all around us there are stories of people suffering every day.  Yet political life and commentary continues to be played in many places around the world like the sport of rugby.  No wonder that politicians have such low opinion ratings in polls.  So let’s all just hang up the boxing gloves and work together to solve the world’s problems.  In this article I’ll discuss issues that deal with life and death; where the decisions made are usually final and the fate of a precious life hangs in the balance.

On the issue of abortion, my faith and my conscience both require me to be personally against all forms of abortion, in all cases and in all situations.  As long as viable life remains, my only answer is to protect and nurture it as much as we are able to.  I do recognize the fact that we live within a pluralistic democracy in the form of a representative republic, and that other people may not share my view.  I also recognize the fact that democratic governments have the power to enact laws and that elections matter.  I find it tragic that people would not do everything within their power to sustain all life, because life is so very fragile and precious; yet I realize every time I look into the mirror that for as many reasons as there are people, other choices are often made.

When I was young, selfish and self-centered at the age of around twenty-one; I made the selfish choice to pay $200 for an abortion without any debate or argument – I really didn’t want to know the details – the money was asked for and I paid it.  I felt bad about the decision, but mostly because I was out the money; and  I was more concerned at the time with not having to deal with this, “problem” that was complicating my life.  Not a day goes by without my awareness of that cold-hearted and callous decision that I was not only capable of making, but actually made without flinching thirty-three years ago.  The fact that no abortion was needed or took place, or the fact that the money was later donated to charity changes anything.  I did what I never believed I could do when forced to decide, and my, “thirty pieces of silver” bought the Potter’s Field.

So I have a great deal of compassion for anyone facing such difficult situations in life.  I myself confessed my sin to a priest before joining the Roman Catholic Church in 1998 – and although forgiven my sin by Christ – I never not realize what I’m capable of doing…which truly shocks me to this day.  The fundamental issue that society should be dealing with is not actually the specific issue of abortion – but the issue of hearts that choose not to welcome new life into this world.  So many couples today want to adopt children into loving homes, and society should do everything that it can to promote the adoption of these unwanted children without resorting to abortion.  Life is always the answer – and in choosing life we should also be chosing to heal the hearts of everyone affected.

Most of the fundamental problems facing society today are issues of the heart, and since we know from countless examples that a human heart can decide in a moment to change through love; we also know that in a second’s time all the hearts of the world can also change overnight – which is why love itself can heal this world, solve our problems and create peace.  Love is the gift that God gives the world that allows mankind the ability to overcome any barrier, and make what is seemingly impossible – possible. 

Christians more than anyone should be the first ones to assist a woman who faces difficult life issues, and provide the assistance and help she needs – medical care, bills, housing, emotional support, spiritual support or adoption assistance – it doesn’t matter.  To say you’re against abortion and yet do nothing to help those in need, doesn’t solve anything.  If everyone does what they can to help the suffering in the lives of the people around us – friends, family and strangers – then we will finally be on the road to progress.  When someone lends assistance to a hurting heart for whatever reason – it’s love that in fact changes everything.          

Researchers have made tremendous strides recently in using adult stem cells, which I hope will soon bring the day when there is no longer the need for anyone to even consider using fetal stem cells – which I can never agree with – but here science can lead us all to the third way of loving and compassionate care for those who suffer from disease.     

For the terminally ill who suffer from pain and extreme difficulties, society should do all that it can to ease the struggles of those faced with this very difficult situation.  Everyone should be respected for the difficult and personal decisions that are made in hospice care in deciding when to curtail excessive medical intervention and when to just compassionately ease the pain.  Compassion should always lead towards loving responses toward the sick and dying – especially when the patient is ready to withdraw from excessive medical intervention – but as long as life and hope exists we should do what is possible to protect life.  I have a living will and my wife knows that when the time comes, I don’t want excessive medical intervention after the point when hope no longer remains.  In these cases life isn’t ended, it is allowed a natural progression where God holds the answers that none of us will ever know in this life.

The final topic in today’s article relates to the subject of the death penalty.  In my view it is never right to take a life, even in response to life taken.  My views in this area have been slowly evolving for years, and for me I no longer support the death penalty.  Hearts can change, life sentences can be enforced, and from evil good can always emerge and triumph in the end.  I also know that governments can and do enact laws, and that my opinion is not the only one held within a democracy.  Again the focus of society – that’s you and me – needs to be on intervention in areas that can help to remove the reasons that hearts turn to evil.  Communities and people can be helped in so many ways to solve society’s problems before they result in the issues that lead to crime – not always but often.

In the halls of Congress, in the political arena, in our schools and in our churches the answer to solving the world’s problems always starts with love.  Through love all things are possible – because love originates in and flows to us from God.  The issues and problems we face today as a society isn’t the fault of liberals, conservatives, social engineering, theology, education or crime – our problems are because our hearts lack love – love for our spouse, our children, our family, our community, our state, our nation, our world and for our God.  All we have to do is ask that our hearts are filled with love, because –  Love Changes Everything.   

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