When my "friends" on FaceBook -- people I went to CHURCH with in Korea. People I attended BIBLE STUDY with -- were celebrating Obama's win, I was crying in a hotel lobby. I told my friends why I was crying. I told them about my friend who watched her baby die in an abortion clinic toilet because staff refused to call an ambulance for them. I pointed out that Barack Obama had voted four times to stand in solidarity with refusing babies care. And I asked for some sensitivity, that not everybody saw this as a reason to celebrate.
This is a response I got:
Janice sent you a message.
Alright Christina, so my political decisions are none of your business. I'd suggest to you that you stay out of discussing politics with your friends, because I have pretty much lost all respect for you as an individual. How dare you write that on my page and then lauch into a debate on MY PAGE with my friends. Do that in forums Christina, where people entertain that inconsiderate garbage. And, enjoy bantering with you. I for one do not!
If you have an issue with it then you send me a message to my inbox. And, let me tell you in a more pesronal way that if you don't like the fact that I support whatever political candidate, then you don't need to be my friend. How unfortunate that a friendship or a christian sisterhood can be ruined because I think that a particular candidate is a good one.
In case you have forgotten also, I'm not American, I'm not voting. I just happen to think that historically, this is monumental. You don't have to agree, but neither do you need to throw YOUR opinion down any one's throat, or go about leaving heinous messages on people's pages. At the end of the day, there is NO candidate that will ever satisfy everyone's wishes and personal opinions. So, what are you going to do about it? NOTHING!!! That's right, the American people have voted, there's nothing you can change now. Take your anger to picket lines and rallies and try to educate people, leaving stupid messages like that on my page, are not the way to go about it, especially because you have now isolated someone who had no issues with you. In my opinion you are suggesting that you are the ONLY person in the world who cares about baies dying. It's not just from abortions Christina. There are children dying all over the world. Some from the very same war that McCain support!
are so one-sided. You focus on the next best think that will make you miserable. How sad that is that you STILL DON'T GET IT!!!!! This is why you are unhappy and miserable. But, I know that nothing that anyone says will make a difference to you. Obama could decide to pass a law in your favour tomorrow and you will find something negative to complain about. Every email, every post on your page, every rant, is about how someone somewhere, is distraught again. How sad. This is not what God created you for.
Don't bother to send me back a message, because you will be deleted as of right now. Your gall is an insult and a shame, and I'm going to pray for your soul because you are clearly a mess. You are really quite an interesting individual. Drama and issues follow you because you either create them or you build them up into something they are not! Every message, every note on your page is about some drama that's happening to someone you know. I don't think I've ever heard a positive remark come from your mouth such as "I am happy to be alive today, regardless of how the world is." You try to bring others down with you and that's unfortunate, because you clearly need positive influences in your life.
All I asked them for was a little sensitivity, to realize how much pain my friend is in, how much I'm hurting for her, and how much it's hurting her and the people who love her to see such celebration of the man who held out so often that what was done to her and her baby was right and just.
That's it. I tried being gentle and "sensitive". I tried to gently and gradually introduce them to the idea that women are being browbeaten into unwanted abortions, that they're grieving and sometimes killing themselves over it.
This woman has seen me worried, crying, and asking for prayers for Angele. This woman has heard me celebrate when Ashli McCall's book came out, and has heard me tell Ashli's story. This woman knows about my annual phone call to comfort the Cardamone family, on the anniversary of the day their daughter died from a botched abortion she didn't want and had been browbeaten into.
None of that softened her heart at all.
And she babbles about babies dying from other causes -- I was the one, not her, who spearheaded the effort to raise money for a well for an African village, to keep babies from dying from lack of clean water. We needed $3,000. It should have taken us a couple of weeks to raise that kind of money, given how much discretionary income we all had. None of us was hurting for cash. And it broke my heart every Communion Sunday, when we took up the special offering for the well, and the offerings were paltry. I bit my tongue. I didn't scold the congregation after opening those envelopes. I didn't say, "I know full well that three of you went to Seoul for hair weaves this month at $120 to $220 a pop, and the biggest donation that wasn't MINE was for $20. Are you honestly telling me that these kids' lives aren't worth as much as your hair weaves? I know three of you who get manicures every week that cost more than the biggest donation in here that wasn't mine. You can't forgo one manicure a month to save children's lives?"
The combined contributions from the 30 other congregants -- 20 of whom were well-off English teachers such as myself -- was often less than what I was putting in myself. I would put in an amount equal to my biggest discretionary purchase the previous month, the biggest purchase I made that wasn't ordinary groceries or paying my utility bills. If I'd given myself a big treat, I gave an equal treat to the kids in Sierra Leone who were waiting for a well. I wanted to give more, but the pastor counseled patience -- to let them be convicted on their own, and give on their own. He counseled patience, to share the opportunity to be generous rather than hogging it up and denying the others a chance to give. It was this counsel that kept me from saying, "Screw it. I'm not waiting for these people to wake up while babies are dying for lack of water," and just donating enough to put us over the top.
Maybe I should have done that. Maybe I should have stood up for the Well Update and said, "The donations we get are less than what many of you are spending a week on IMAX tickets, manicures, or purses. These kids are dying for lack of water. I'm putting in the rest of the money myself, and y'all can have another fund raiser when you find a cause more important than your hair, nails, and wardrobe." Because being gentle and patient did squat but leave that village in Sierra Leone without a well for months longer than necessary.
We had a donation jar on the snack table. I wanted to forgo snacks on Communion Sunday, and donate the earmarked snack money to the Well Fund. I was voted down. We met for pre-service prayers, and for Bible Study, in coffee shops, spending $5 to $8 each on a beverage. I wanted to forgo that on Communion Sunday, to donate the money instead to the Well Fund. I was voted down on that, too. It was asking too much, it was putting MY conviction on others who were not similarly convicted. So I'd be in those coffee shops, drinking my $5 cocoa, telling myself, "I'm buying a spot in a coffee shop so unbelievers can see Christians excited about the Bible" and trying not to think of how much better it would be to put that $5 in the Well Fund. I bit my tongue. I went with what the majority wanted. I let those kids go months longer than necessary without water to drink so I wouldn't make well-off Christian teachers uncomfortable with blowing all that money on beverages.
I wasn't asking anybody to take a vow of poverty. Just to once a month fast from luxury beverages and give that money to kids who were drinking filthy water. That was too much to ask. Just as some sensitivity for Angele and Rowan, to stop dancing on a child's grave, was too much to ask.
Being gentle and patient didn't work. I tried it and it was an abysmal failure. It led me to put being sensitive to the comfortable ahead of whether or not children had safe water to drink. It led me to put being sensitive to the comfortable ahead of comforting the mourning.
I don't need to fill my life with people who want me to remain silent about life and death matters while they gush over a man who lets his brother languish on $12 a year, and is okay with wrapping babies in towels and leaving them in a closet to die.
Matthew 25:40 applies to George Obama and to impoverished children in Sierra Leone and to Rowan and Shanice. And I"m not going to let anything stop me from putting the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable FIRST. I'm no longer going to leave them on a back burner until the well-off and comfortable are ready to set aside their nail buffers.