We are all Michelle

I’m a news junkie.If there is something big happening, I’ll likely know at least a little bit about it. I don’t know why that is, apart from the fact that this world I live in is just so interesting and there is so much to be learned and understood.

I’m concerned about North Korea, excited about the solar eclipse, incredulous that this church is using booze as a way to reach people and indifferent about this debate on drones.

What really grabbed my attention last week, though, was the story of Michelle,  the now-famous girlfriend who persuaded her 18 year old boyfriend, Conrad, to commit suicide. I don’t recall ever watching a case where the crime lay completely in written text. She didn’t kill him, she only encouraged it via text message. The prosecution asked for a prison sentence of  7-12 years, but she was  sentenced to just 2.5, of the which she will serve a mere 15 months.

The most compelling aspect of this story is that this is the story of humanity, starting back at the beginning when the famous question, “am I my brothers keeper?” was asked. We wrestle with the value of human life, and mourn when its so easily thrown away.

One could call out the hypocrisy of the Left, which would have allowed an abortion doctor to end Conrad’s death 18 years prior. You can drive a lady to an abortion clinic, encourage her to end her baby’s life, and then drive her home and it’s just another day on the job. No court case, no judge, no sentence.  To encourage someone to end a life outside the womb is a crime, to encourage it in the womb is somehow acceptable.

The Right is morally no better, however technically pro-life they claim to be. It’s relatively easy to sign your name to a petition to save the unborn, to enjoy the feelings of self-righteousness and smugness for “being pro-life”, but not to lift a finger or attempt to understand what drives women to these choices. Being right is better and much more convenient than seeking to understand and getting involved.

In the Biblical Creation story, the Creator breathed into the man and the woman, and they became living souls bearing His image. The value of human life rests there today. To be pro-life is to be aware of Gods image in each person; the unborn and the aged, the ISIS fighter and Mother Theresa, Mark Zuckerburg and the Syrian refugee. God doesn’t pick and choose who gets value and in what amount; He infuses it in each person at conception and nothing can change it. To be pro-life is to understand and celebrate that value, to speak life-giving words, to be available for the undervalued and overlooked, to call out the best in your neighbor, and to ache for reconciliation and redemption. More than a theory and stated belief, it’s an action, a lifestyle, a calling.

The truth is, we are all Michelle, grappling with choices, with the power of our words, with the responsibility of our humanness, and with the effects of a world full of brokenness. How we see ourselves and the image of God in others is ultimately what makes up the headlines and what makes up our world. So yes, I would argue, I am my brother’s keeper.