Of all the upsetting messages I anticipated from the controversial movie Unplanned, I didn’t think it would hold up a mirror and show me willfulness comes in all sizes and shapes. Whew . . . I can’t point a finger at pro-choice advocates without checking the three pointing back at me.
Not that I ran an abortion clinic!
She believed in a woman’s right to control her reproductive choices. So, did I, once.
Before she was born, though I changed my point of view on abortion.
But not my determination to have my own way on other matters, often beyond my control. So, the fingers pointing back to me are my well-intentioned, uninformed determination to change the world.
Choices We Both Made
Because she agreed that abortion should be legal, safe, and rare, in college she became a Planned Parenthood volunteer, in a sense defying her parents.
“Never trust a decision you don’t want your mother to know about. How’s that for a brilliant insight?”
― Abby Johnson
Her choices to work in the abortion industry were tied to her unwillingness to see what was the choices meant for babies, their families, and co-workers.
Honestly, I made many choices I didn’t exactly want my parents to know about either. And my willful blindness to the cost of my choices is as inexcusable. At the Cross, all the ground is level. And sinking.
The most compelling tie between Abby Johnson and me – the one that stung — was our determination to close our eyes to what we don’t want to see, if it impeded reaching our goals.
Chaucer Knew Me
Recovering English major that I am I thought of how Chaucer characterized one of his memorable heroines, the lovely Criseyde (Troilus and Creseyde). Bluntly, she was “sliding of courage,” when her lover’s life depended upon her.
Unplanned reminded me of the times when my courage slid – and can still slide.
Not that anybody’s life depended upon it . . .
Chaucer’s pithy description, “sliding of courage,” which sounds better than coward, nailed me. It captures so well why I do what I know I shouldn’t, and don’t do what I know should and could.
Sometimes I wonder if cowardice is more the main ingredient in clinic harassment, than moral indignation. We don’t have the time or courage to do what the “protestors” who succeeded in stopping abortion at the clinic did. They prayed and showed kindness, for years.
That’s the good news for both Abby and me: people were praying, for her and for me.
Yes. It took awhile.
I hope Unplanned upsets many and changes more minds – and reforms legislation.
Unplanned upset me because I saw myself blind and sliding of courage too many times.
The good thing though is that the God who opened Abby’s eyes to a little baby fighting for their life, opened mine, showing me in His time how to check my eyesight. (Psalm 119:18)
Seeing better, now might be a good season to test my hearing. Wait . . Do I Hear a Rooster?