Weapons and Women

This is a week of anniversaries. The 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, for instance, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But today is my anniversary, my 5th. It’s now been five years since I last tried to handle pain by inflicting more, and deal with the damage in my life by dealing more. A couple retrospectives are in order.

Both the aforementioned presidents knew something about violence, and of course violence took both of them from us, at great cost to the country. So I could have reposted this first flashback on the 19th, or, with still-greater significance, on the 22nd:

“Use of Weapons”

(The friend I mention in the first lines no longer owns firearms, by the way, but my point stands.)

And how did I get out of that cycle of violence? Well, a lot of hard work, and a lot of patience. But I give credit where credit is due, and I give a lot of the credit to

These Women

Many of the women in question, when I praise them for their help in my return from darkness, tell me that I did the work; they just helped. Which is true. But the women in question made me want to do the work. There’s a lot I can do, if the Spirit is willing and my desire is strong. But the trick about depression is that internal motivation is hard to come by. Yeah, I did the work. Yeah, I got myself out of my hole. And yeah, now I’m much more able to get started and get things done on my own. But I could have stopped cutting any time. I could have gotten help any time. I didn’t want to. Not until these women gave me reasons. And so I am deeply blessed by the Spirit that I have known them.

I could add to the list of women by now, by the way, but that will be for future posts.

So rejoice, my friends! My clouds have lifted and my storm has passed. Five years of ever-improving health. Five years of getting stronger. Five years of victory. My scars are badges of honor now, nothing I am ashamed of, for they show the world how far I have come.

Sing a joyful song today, my friends, in honor of the Spirit of Healing and Life who so beautifully drew me out of darkness. Sing a joyful song and dance.

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Choices

The issues of abortion and contraception seem to be in the air these days, and the pro-life camp has its standard-bearers out in force. After listening to the public discourse, and after conversations with some of my pro-life friends, I feel that I would have much more respect for the pro-life camp if I could be certain that all of them were focused on preserving life, and not on preserving control. In short, I’d be happier if I could be certain that the whole of the pro-life camp is actually pro-life, instead of anti-women.

I can understand the belief that abortion is killing. I think that saying so raises both biological and theological questions that we can’t answer with certainty at the moment. I and many others could raise many objections to the abortion = murder position, but I can understand and respect the principle. I know many people who hold to that belief, and my friends believe it honestly and reasonably.

But knowing as I do that a significant percentage of abortions are performed because the women in question just can’t afford a child… knowing as I do that the Pill prevents both ovulation and implantation, and thus has effects both before and after conception… knowing as I do that abortion rates barely even twitch when abortion is criminalized, and only go down when contraception is readily available… I must look to a different strand of the pro-life camp, which to my dismay and astonishment seems to not only seek an end to abortion, but to birth control and education on reproduction. Continue reading