I have been thinking a lot lately about my motivation and my engagement in culture, in politics, and in the greater discussion surrounding life and abortion. What drives my action and/or inaction? As I have wrestled with this in my own life I have formulated a framework that helps me better understand my motivations, my heart, and my ultimate desire to see life given its proper value and where I, we, might fit in the local and national conversation.
The formula that has helped me in this process involves three questions: Do we see?; Do we care?; Do we believe? These three questions have helped me tremendously as I contemplate my civic, church, and neighbor engagement. If we can answer these questions we can better understand and articulate our involvement in and service to the movement we care so deeply about.
Do We See?
This question was prompted by a study of Luke 7:44. This particular chapter covers a lot of ground, but the portion that jumped out at me is when Jesus enters the home of a Pharisee. While Jesus was dining, a sinful woman of the city entered the home and washed his feet with her own tears, kisses, and oils. This action prompted the Pharisees to scoff. The question Jesus poses to the host that evening is very telling. He simply says, “Do you see this woman?” This question was important then and is important now as we think about our work. If we get this question wrong we get everything wrong.
We often choose to look past our neighbors. Neighbors, mind you, that bear the image of our God. This truth requires something of Christians. The Pharisee being discussed in Luke 7 was doing a lot of good things, but was looking past his neighbors in the process. He was choosing to not recognize the image bearers around him. Jesus forced him to stop in that moment and reflect…”do you see her?”
This question isn’t just for the Pharisee from yesteryear; no, it is also for us to answer today in our work, service, and engagement on the issues of life.
Do We Care?
Each question in this formula leads to the next. Once we recognize that we are tasked with seeing those that bear the image of God we must then ask ourselves another question, Do we care? Do we care about these women, these men, and these babies? Seeing them is important, but seeing them and not caring will ring hollow. Caring about the lives of image bearers is a must for those that care about life in and out of the womb.
This caring isn’t just about saying the right things or making eloquent statements on social media. No, it is about actually having your caring lead you to action. A caring that is practiced is a caring that will sustain and compound in a broken culture.
Do We Believe?
Once we answer the first two questions the third question is a natural progression. Do we believe? Do we believe that God is going to move, bring revival, and ultimately bring people, image bearers, to Himself? This question, although a natural progression in the formula, is a tough one for me. I look around at our culture and I struggle to believe that God will move. I say I want revival, but I struggle with disdain for some of my neighbors. This disdain can oftentimes drive me to inaction or to hateful rhetoric that does more harm than good.
As these thoughts creep up on me I am forced to make adjustments and get back to the question at hand…Do I believe? This practice allows me to pause, take a deep breath, and run through the formula all over again.
This framework is not foolproof, but it allows me to do a great deal of reflection in my own life and motivations as I juggle this work we are so blessed to take part in. I pray this framework/formula might assist you as you wrestle with your role in this movement. Take some time to answer the difficult questions and seek God as you navigate how you might be used to see, care, and believe. You will never regret that…for this I am certain.
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director