§ Volunteer Form

§ What is Pro-Life Unity?

To achieve Pro-Life Unity we will establish standards that we all agree upon, and efforts that we all regularly participate in. By working together we can challenge the culture of death and the apathy which is pervasive in our society.

§ Action Code

Help promote the Pro-Life Action Calls which are put out by Pro-Life organizations nationwide.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to email us and we will send you the Action Code & sign you up as a member of Pro-Life Unity. Your site will be listed on the Members page

§ Life Principles

Click here for the timeless Life Principles that were established over 30 years ago by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund.

§ Volunteer Form

Click here to fill out our volunteer form. We can help you identify what you would like to do to help the unborn and connect you with either our efforts our some other group effort somewhere near you

Monday, December 07, 2009

Shut Up And Be

            I couldn’t sell ice water to a man stranded in the middle of the Sahara in July.  Well, maybe I could but I’d probably end up talking the poor guy out of it before the contract was signed.  I am not a good salesperson.

That’s why when I convinced myself a couple of years ago that it was my job, my duty, my purpose to do all I could to sell heaven to my husband, it made us both miserable.

When I was young, we had to sell chocolate bars for the softball team I was on.  I would eat them all so I wouldn’t have to sell them.  I dread the magazine sales every year that my kids bring home from school, and I hated every minute of standing in front of grocery stores selling Girl Scout cookies with my daughter.  (Which, by the way, you shouldn’t buy anymore.  Girl Scouts are a huge contributor to Planned Parenthood.)  So it’s only natural for me to feel uncomfortable about selling God to other people, even though I will do whatever it takes if it means someone having an opportunity to know and love God.

So I preached to my husband.  Not in a forceful, overbearing way, at least that’s what I thought.  But I would use every opportunity that came along to say something about God to my husband who grew up nowhere near a church and had absolutely no desire at all to be preached to by his newly converted wife who was obviously uncomfortable and miserable doing it.  And I was getting nowhere.  If anything, he was going in the opposite direction and I was feeling more and more guilty about it all.  I despaired in thinking I would get to Heaven on my day of judgment and God would look down at me accusingly and say, “You hardly did anything to get Andy or anyone else to Heaven.  Shame on you! Go to purgatory, now!”

Finally, I went to my priest to talk about it.  I told him how angry and unhappy I had been for no apparent reason.  I told him through tears how heavy my cross was and how Andy was no where near becoming Christian and how I was failing at my job.  Dismissing my tears as if they weren’t even there he stated matter-of-factly, “You are not unhappy because your husband isn’t Christian, you’re unhappy about something else.”

I stopped in mid-sniffle.  “Well, I know it might not happen in my lifetime…” I said, hoping he noticed my ability to be patient with God’s time but he cut off before I could even begin my self-sacrificial monologue.

“At what point your husband becomes a Christian is between your husband and God.  It has nothing to do with you.” He said, as if he knew us.  Obviously this guy didn’t know that God put my husband and I together for that very purpose.  He went on however, before I had a chance to tell him.  “You may be blaming your husband on why you’re not happy but believe me your husband is going to start to think, “Man, I don’t want to be a Christian.  Look at her, she is and she’s miserable.”

I stiffened my back.  “I don’t act miserable around him…”

“Do you think he doesn’t see it?  I see it and I’ve only just met you.  People react more to what they observe than what they hear.  You are telling him so much more by the way you are than by what you say.  This is where the difference will happen.  You need to work on you before you can work on them.”

How ridiculous! I decided not to say anything else. Obviously this priest knew nothing about me or my personal relationship with God. My self righteousness took over as it so often did and I dismissed him and went on believing that I knew more about what was going on than anyone else. I sat politely and let him finish up so I could be on my way, no better than I had been before I barged in on him.  God has a funny way of getting through to me though.  He has to handle me with a clean, articulate process so that when I do finally open my eyes and my heart to what is going on around me, I can usually see through most of my own stubbornness to what God is wanting in my life.

          I drove home listening to Mother Angelica on the radio stressing how important it was to be a window to reflect Jesus, all the while telling myself that sometimes priests just got it wrong.  I called my dad for reassurance, filling him in on all the details of what my off-base but well intended pastor had said, stressing the correct disapproving tone into my voice at the right times so he didn’t misunderstand my message.

          “Hmmm, yeah…” he said when I was finished.  He paused. “Well, he’s right; it’s not your job to save Andy.”  He could have knocked me over with an Angel wing.  My dad had been preaching to me my whole life and unlike me, this was one of his purposes.  He’s good at it, in fact, so good he became a Deacon.  I just assumed he believed like I did, it was the duty of everyone to preach people into heaven.

            “But Dad, I don’t want to get to heaven and have God look down on me…” I explained my fear.

            “That’s slufoot, Shell,” my Dad said, using the nickname he had for the devil and I knew right then it was true.  I wasn’t wired to preach, so there is no way my loving God would give that to me as my purpose.  Why would he make me the way I was, and then give me a job in life that grated on the very fiber of my being?

            “He’s also right when he says it’s not up to you whether Andy goes to heaven.  Do you believe that Andy will go to heaven?”  he asked.
              “Yes, absolutely,” I replied without hesitation, I knew with all my heart that he would.  He’s a better person than most.
              “God may use someone else entirely to get Andy to heaven.  God may use Andy to get Andy to heaven. Whatever the means, it’s God who will do it, not you.”

              With those words, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.  I felt instantly lighter, I could breathe deeper and easier and felt true joy for the first time in a long time.  And with that weight came relief in letting go of the responsibility to save everyone I knew by convincing them of The Truth.  I could be myself again, and have come to realize the secret is quite simple and downright easy.  I just be me and live.
              I don’t concern myself with convincing anyone of the existence of my God.  I don’t justify my relationship with God and I don’t attempt to prove how He saved me from myself.  I don’t worry that people think I’m a Jesusfreak or that they believe my relationship with God is something my mind created in order to deal with my abortions.  I truly know that only something much bigger and more powerful than myself could have saved me from the pit of despair that those abortions took me to.  I am merely a window in which to show Jesus, as Mother Angelica tried to tell me as I drove home from that pivotal talk with my pastor.  And it’s amazing how receptive people become to this and open to talking about the peace they see reflected in me. 

              Some people were meant to teach God in the traditional sense. For the rest of us, the best way to convince others that Jesus exists is to allow God to work His magic in us and then live our lives living for Jesus.  When a person allows God’s Love to transform them, eventually people notice this transformation and they become curious.  People will observe the fulfillment that you have in your life and they’ll want that joy for themselves.  Jesus’ love does have the ability to convince all on its own.  Sometimes all He’s asking us to do is shut up and be.

Shelley Allsup
December 2009

Posted by Shelley Allsup on 12/07 at 02:30 PM
ColumnistsShelley AllsupPro-Life UnityPermalink
Page 1 of 1 pages