Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lent '11: Letting Go of Judgment, Challenge 1 RESULTS

I think there are a few of you joining me in taking on this challenge for Lent. This delights me!

Last week's challenge was this:

Challenge 1: Ask a woman with differing or opposing views how she made her choice. This is not an opportunity to debate. For this challenge, you are just listening.


I realize I used the words "woman", "she", and "her" in that challenge, which might make it seem odd that I asked a man. But I did. Here's why: I figured if I'm asking you to come along on this journey with me, I owe it to you all to not cop out with some easy question. I asked a hard one. One where I knew it would be hard for me to keep my mouth shut and just listen. But I did.

Here goes:

"Can you tell me a little bit about why you're pro-choice?"

(If you know anything at all about me, you know I'm vehemently and unapologetically pro-life. Still, I like this man. He's smart. And he's married to a good friend of mine. I heard him out.)

"I'm pro-choice because there's no perfect answer, but I believe in giving women the right to decide what's best. I mean... it's not like I want to think about babies dying, JL, or that I don't think they matter. But I know there are times... Well, here. My sister. She got pregnant young. You know my dad's a church leader. My parents would never have forgiven her. She pondered killing herself but, because she was able to end the pregnancy, she found the strength to go on and she never had to face our parents judgment and hate. It's hard. They're so conservative. Well, you are too, I guess. But she was trapped. And so, when I think of the fact that without that option, I would have lost my sister, yeah, I'm glad it's legal."

There you go. Now, you know, of course, that I could refute a lot of that with my own views.

That wasn't the point.

It was amazing to me how much people will share when you're just listening. When there's no debate. When you put judgment on hold. And, really, when you view it as an opportunity to learn and show compassion, it's not that hard to stay silent. Did anything he said change my views on abortion? Not one bit. But it was eye-opening to learn how his life experience had shaped his views.

The most powerful thing to me?

His sister was, essentially, driven to have an abortion because of how deeply she feared her parents' judgment.

Now there's a lesson to take away.


Did you participate this past week? How did it go?

If you blogged about it, please link up below so I know to visit you. If you prefer, tell us about your experience in the comments.

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