Picture this real-life scene. You’ve boarded the plane and your neighbor for the next three hours takes his place next to you. Small talk inevitably turns to the following conversation:
Me: “What do you do for a living?”
Neighbor: “I sell underfloor drainage systems for large manufacturing plants. This is the fourth city that I’ve been to in three days. You see, our drainage systems are essential to modern manufacturing in order to …” – and on it went for about five minutes.
I must admit that I had never really thought about the topic before and my attention often wandered, but the magnitude of passion that my neighbor demonstrated for underfloor drainage systems for large manufacturing plants was amazing.
When he finally came up for air, about the best that I could do was mutter a half-hearted, “That’s very interesting.” While I DID find the topic rather interesting, I must say that I was also indifferent to the topic, and I may not have done a good job hiding that fact.
Now, after a brief awkward silence, it was my turn.
Neighbor: “What do you do for a living?”
Me: “I’m the national director of an organization called Lutherans For Life. We provide information from a Gospel perspective on life issues like adoption, crisis pregnancies, post-abortion syndrome, and physician-assisted suicide.”
Neighbor: “Oh, well, um, that sounds like very important work,” as he rather quickly and awkwardly implanted his noise-canceling/conversation-canceling ear buds for the duration of the flight. His intonation and level of sincerity on the word “important” felt to me the way my description of his work as “interesting” must have felt to him—indifferent.
I have read that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Love and hate are both descriptions of passionate feelings about a topic. Indifference is the complete lack of interest in that topic. “I don’t care” is so prevalent in our society that it has its own abbreviation in the shorthand of texting and tweeting: IDC.
I often wonder if the biggest challenge before life-affirming Lutheran Christians isn’t in dealing with “pro-choicers,” but rather with folks who don’t care—“IDCers”? In a society that bombards us with information in an attempt to force us to care about baby fur seals, an endangered species of worm in a construction zone, or what someone said about a currently politically incorrect topic 50 years ago, it’s sometimes hard to muster much ongoing passion in the general population about an unsensationalized everyday miracle like human life.
Hopefully you know that the mission statement of Lutherans For Life is “Equipping Lutherans to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life.” But here is our vision statement, the higher-level goal of our existence: “Every Lutheran, both individually and in community, upholding the God-given value of human life and influencing society to do the same.”
Our society often says IDC to the miracle of birth unless he is born into Great Britain’s royal family or she is the daughter of a celebrity. Our society often says IDC to the fact that there are over twice as many suicides as homicides each year in the United States—and the rate keeps climbing. Our society often says IDC as its most experienced and wise members are allowed, and sometimes encouraged, to cut their lives short because they no longer feel useful to that same society.
But we have been created by God Who DOES care (not just often, but ALWAYS) about you and me, about every child who is conceived, about every person who feels useless and forgotten—even about those who say IDC about Him. He cared enough that He gave His Son’s life to redeem our lives for eternity.
And YOU care. We know you do because you’ve told us so by entrusting Lutherans For Life with some of your precious resources. You are not indifferent when it comes to proclaiming God’s truth about life from fertilization to eternity. You are not indifferent about the need to “equip Lutherans to be Gospel-motivated voices For Life.” And you care about “upholding the God-given value of human life and influencing society to do the same.”
Would you please help us again to carry out this mission and vision that God has given to Lutherans For Life? Through your gifts to Lutherans For Life, our combined voices will educate, comfort, and proclaim so that those who experience only indifference may know that God cares.
Thank you for your prayerful generosity!
(One way we educate is through our LFL 2019 Regional Conferences. Find out more at www.lutheransforlife.org/conference.)