Saying Yes (not just no)

The ‘Reproductive Healthcare Bill’ sits in limbo in the upper house as our politicians realise that rushing it through may not have been the best approach. In these last few weeks, there have been opportunities for many to make their voices heard on the subject by petition, protest and a relentless stream of social media.

Now, I do think it is really important that we speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and to say a clear NO to the continued, tragic devaluing and endangering of unborn life.

But if this NO is all that people hear then that’s also a problem. Think of the expectant mother worried about her ability to care for another child, perhaps with her partner threatening to leave her. Think of parents scared at the prospect of becoming lifelong caregivers for their child with severe disabilities. These anxious people look to one side and see society, health care professionals and even the law giving them an ‘easy way out’, and then they look at the church. What do they see? Is it grumpy faces saying, NO YOU CAN’T have an abortion, it’s just wrong! Or instead, do they see open arms saying YES YOU CAN have this baby and we will stand with you in the long road ahead.

What would this kind of church look like? Well, at every level, from kid’s ministries to seniors, among our church leadership, members and in our programs, we must do our best to value and welcome kids and individuals from all walks of life. We need to especially welcome, cater for and support single parents, families experiencing a crisis, kids and adults with disabilities and their caregivers. Real connections and real care. As individuals and a community, we’d strive to be sensitive in what we say (and type!) as we demonstrate (not just state) our value for all life.

As a church, I think we are pretty good at elements of this, but it is worth reminding ourselves of these needs and praying that God would equip us to be welcoming and caring even when it is costly. What is one thing you can do to help our church family say YES to valuing God’s gift of life?

Murray Colville