In From the Vine

By Caralyn

 

 

Innocent. 

It’s a word that drums up a lot of emotion for many. 

Some jump to Adnan Syed, of the Serial Podcast, or even OJ Simpson.

Others will recall the innocence of their youth, long before the harsh realities of this world became all too familiar. 

While some will remember holding their son or daughter for the first time, and looking into their shining, pure eyes. 

But it was the main theme of our first reading at Mass, from Genesis 18.

Then Abraham drew nearer and said:

“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? 

Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;

would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it

for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? 

Far be it from you to do such a thing,

to make the innocent die with the guilty

so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! 

Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?” 

The Lord replied,”If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,

I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 

[And Abraham persisted to question further and further until…]

What if there are at least ten there?” 

He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

Innocent. 

I’m going to be honest…when I think of that word, my mind goes to one place, and one place only: the womb. 

The unborn child: the most innocent, most blameless among us. 

It’s no secret that the headlines have been bombarded with outrage over the various pro-life legislation passed here recently. In the wake of the phenomenal movie, Unplanned, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and others have passed truly encouraging pro-life bills to protect those most innocent. 

And frankly, much of the country is up in arms, calling America the real life “Handmaid’s Tale” and calling for boycotts of goods and services in these states. 

Being a defender of life is met with disdain, judgement, scoffs, and eye rolls, as anyone who opposes “My Body, My Choice” is seen as an anti-woman bully, brainwashed by the “patriarchy.”

But we can take heart at this reading. Because God is literally spelling out the truth for us. 

Why is it, that Abraham keeps pestering God with question after question — will you destroy 50 innocent people? Forty-five? Thirty? Twenty? Ten? 

As a reader, — and impatient millennial New Yorker — I always read this particular passage with a bit of annoyance — just get to the point already. 

But Abraham is grappling with exactly what our legislators are wrestling with: where is the line? 

Where is the line where innocent life becomes disposable? 

God has a definitive answer. 

Every. Single. Innocent. Life. Is. Worth. Protecting. 

Bam. There it is. 

One innocent life is all it takes. 

God has made His position clear. There is value, there is purpose, there is importance in every innocent life. 

How easily we have forgotten that as a society. 

I’ve personally come a long way in my pro-life beliefs. Had you asked me during my anorexia, I would have shouted from the rooftops, “My body, my choice.” 

Why? Because I wanted to destroy and abuse my body however I wanted, and absolutely no one could tell me otherwise.

And as an 18-year old high school senior — a legal adult — technically, no one could. 

And though I would never had said “I’m trying to die,” my actions — my choices — communicated otherwise: all you needed to do was look at my 78 pound frame to see the evidence. 

It was my body, and I was choosing to destroy it. 

And the only way I recovered from such a severe case of anorexia, and left those destructive choices behind, was by realizing that my body was not *mine* to destroy.

My body was purchased at a price – the highest price possible. And therefore, my body is my responsibility. And the choice I must make, in response to that incredible gift — is to use my body to glorify and honor He who saved it. 

It is my act of worship. An instrument though which I am to be used by God. It is my privilege, not mine to destroy.

And I finally realized the value that Abraham is so desperately searching for in today’s reading: every single innocent life is worth saving. Protecting. Defending. Respecting. 

That is a hard position to take in today’s societal climate. But we are children of the Great Commission, and speaking the truth in love is what we’re called to do on this earth, in the bodies that have been so generously given, created, and purchased for us, as children of God. 

Innocent. 

May the world realize the value and sanctity of each innocent unborn life, and make the choice to protect each and every one. 

 

About the author:

Caralyn is the writer and speaker behind the blog, BeautyBeyondBones. It has recently been named one of the Top Three Eating Disorder Recovery Sites on the WorldwideWeb. She’s a twenty-something actress and writer in New York City. Having battled a severe case of anorexia and Ulcerative Colitis, she now uses her story of total restoration to positively impact others, and offer Christ’s hope and encouragement for those with eating disorders, and other forms of adversity. Her book, Bloom is now available!

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Caralyn.  Used with permission.  All rights reserved.

Showing 35 comments
  • Angie Koenig
    Reply

    ❤️❤️❤️ thank you for speaking the True, the Good, and the Beautiful about life

    May God have mercy on us all

  • Carol
    Reply

    Your comment about our bodies being “our responsibility” has struck a chord. It is s reminder of our co-union with Jesus. This may be what is needed to get me out there and exercising! Thanks Caralyn

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Carol, I’m glad this resonated with you! Amen – our co-union with Jesus!! Hugs and love xox

  • Lynda M MacFarland
    Reply

    Caralyn,
    This was profound and beautiful! I already follow your blog and love your way of evangelizing the culture! God bless you and keep you strong, inspired, and motivated! Blessings!

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Lynda, I’m incredibly touched that you read my blog! And gosh, thank you for your kind words. God bless you too, my friend! hugs and love xox

  • Lisa Eltgroth
    Reply

    What wonderful insight you have! This is such a great message in approaching abortion! Thank you!

    • Reply

      Hi Lisa, oh gosh, thank you so much! I’m glad it resonated with you! It is definitely a hot button issue in the press right now. Thankfully, we have The Book to reveal God’s heart on the matter! 🙂 Big big hugs to you xox

  • banditojul
    Reply

    This is beautiful – exactly what we need in the face of grey-area issues in which God’s own voice is ignored. Thank you for providing your own example and inspiring others with it. <3
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    • Reply

      thank you so much!! I think you’re right – those grey issues are the ones we need the most divine guidance from! big hugs to you x

  • Aneece Alicea
    Reply

    I really loved your use of Scripture here. Great perspective piece!
    I consider myself a conservative feminist and so appreciate the points you drove home. Every life is worth saving.

    • Reply

      Hi Aneece, thank you so much! I just love that we have a book of God’s literal word at our fingertips. It’s a beautiful love letter form our heavenly father. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond! big hugs xo

  • Scoot
    Reply

    That scripture passage caught my attention as well. Relativism makes people litigious. “Well, under these circumstances, x. Under those, y, and every other time, z, except for…”

    It goes on and on. Truly, God has made things easy for us. Every. Life. Counts. Those who are last shall be first.

    Fulton Sheen said there are three kinds of people. Wise Men, Knaves, and fools. Wise men mean to do good, and they do it. Knaves mean to do evil, and go it. Fools try to do good but do evil. We have many, many fools in this country, and I hope very few knaves. It is good to hear more wise voices such as yours, getting greater reach and rallying the public.

    Enjoyed your innovative post.
    AMDG
    -Scoot

    • Reply

      Hi Scoot! You’re so right — every. life. counts!! And wow, I’ve never heard that Fulton Sheen quote but my, my, what a powerful and true quote. Thanks for such kind words!! I’m touched and humbled 🙂 big big hugs xox

  • Giselle Gras
    Reply

    Beautiful post like always Caralyn!! I’m proud of your boldness, my little sister in Christ!

    • Reply

      Hi Giselle! Aw, thank you so much for saying that. It really means a lot 🙂 I appreciate you stopping by! big big hugs xox

  • michael clapp
    Reply

    The truth is, and always has been, simple. And you pointed it all out. Hugs and love from Kentucky– Mike

    • Reply

      Hi Mike! Thank you so much for saying that 🙂 God’s truth is always straightforward and simple! Yay for the Bluegrass state! big hugs xo

  • Wayne Double D Acres
    Reply

    Wow you are quite the phenomenal young lady anointed with a gift to communicate. Your work gives me inspiration. You are the poster child of faith and grit. You don’t back down from negative responses. I have followed you for some time and you never cease to amaze me. My Body My Choice and Saving the Innocent are well written and thought out. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply

      Oh my goodness, Wayne – what a kind thing to say. Thank you so much 🙂 I am truly humbled by such generous words. God is so good 🙂 Hope your week is off to a great start! big big hugs to you xo

  • Reply

    This. Beautifully written.

  • Veronica Nowell
    Reply

    Loved it Caralyn, Thank you so much!

    • Reply

      Hi Veronica! Oh thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate you stopping by! have a great Tuesday! hugs xo

  • frank o'shea
    Reply
  • Peggy
    Reply

    If only more Millennials would share your deep faith, wisdom, and love for all life. This is my prayer and hope.

    • Reply

      Oh gosh, what a kind thing to say. Thank you Peggy, I am incredibly humbled by your generous words. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read! big hugs to you xox

  • Robert Alvarez
    Reply

    You’re misquoting your own reference to scriptures. No where that I can recall in the bible does God say that every single innocent life is worth protecting. Not even in what you quoted. You put in the word innocent there to fit your needs. Which is fine, but misleading. God, I think, loves all equally. It is us that decide to separate people into groups and rank them like you have. God doesn’t seem to do that. And when he said “if you can find at least (whatever number) and I will not destroy it….doesn’t he seem more than prepared to kill the innocent there also (whatever the number). I love your blog btw, but you seem to be willing to skew things to your favor when what you say they say is not what they say at all. I am all for protecting the innocent, but they don’t just exist in the womb. They are all around you. -Robert

    • Reply

      Hi Robert, thank you for sharing your thoughts about my article. I appreciate you voicing your opinion. I just wanted to make clear that I did not add, omit, alter, or put in the word “innocent” to the scripture passages. I was quoting from Genesis 18: 20-32, which was the first reading at Mass this past Sunday, the 28th. If you’d like to read it, you can find the readings here: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072819.cfm — you will see that I did not manipulate scripture in my favor in any way, shape, or form. Nor would I ever. God’s word is sacred and perfect, and to be respected as such. I do agree that God loves all of His children equally, and I hope it is clear that I do not separate people into groups or rank them according to lovability or worthiness of protection. That is about as far from a) how I feel, and b) the point of this post, as can be. I do truly appreciate the dialogue. I think it is important to talk about things that matter, and scripture definitely falls into that category. And I also really value feedback and hearing from everyone’s different perspectives. That’s one of the great things about community is that we’re all coming to the table with different life experiences and opinions and beliefs. So thank you for the dialogue and for stopping by. big hugs xo

  • Jim Groff
    Reply

    Thanks for your boldness. It is much needed in today’s world. The Bible tells us to “Speak up for those who cannot defend themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). Certainly, the preborn would fall into the category of those who cannot defend themselves. We need to speak up for them, for they too, are created in the image of God and are the most vulnerable in our society. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Jim, you’re so right about that! We are to be the voice for the voiceless! I agree – they have value and worth as creations of God! so glad you stopped by! big hugs xox

  • Dane Skelton
    Reply

    Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Reply

    Thank you so much Dane for taking the time to read it! hugs xox

pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment

0