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You have a right to be alive!

You have a right to be alive!

You have a right to be alive! This right did not come from your own willing it. It did not come from your family or from the government of from any other human being. You do not have this right because you are healthy or sane or able to breathe on your own or because you have full control of your body. No, you have a right to be alive because you are made in the image of God, who has given you this right.

No one may take this right from you unless you forfeit it by attacking someone else. When you are an inconvenience or an annoyance to others, when your life is difficult for you or for others – those are not situations that give anyone the right to take your life from you. For you, like all those who have life, are presumed innocent until proved guilty. And we all know that no innocent life can be taken.

Now none of this means that your life will be easy. But you have a right even to a difficult life, if that is the life you have. God did not cause your difficulties but gives you instead life itself and the grace and strength to do with this gift the very best that you can. This means that not even you can take away your right to your life. In one sense, your life is not your own. Your life is instead a very spark of the divine within you, for your soul is created directly by God and your soul is what really gives you your human life.

God has given you this life and the right to this life in order that you may allow yourself to be loved into eternal life. This life then is a time of transition, a time of preparation, for the fullness of life which awaits us. This does not mean that this life is unimportant. To the contrary, how we live now affects how we will live then.

Jesus loved life. Jesus is life. Yet, Jesus poured out his life, real life, for us. That is the model for all of us. The great irony is that you have a right to be alive and Jesus then asks you to pour out, in love and service, that very life for others. That is what we need to do with our right to be alive.

This, of course, means that all those others you meet, also have a right to be alive. All those others you encounter who are annoying or inconvenient or illegal or criminal or disabled or of a different social class or are just plain different are the very ones Jesus wants you to lay down your life for, not by abandoning your right to be alive, but by embracing life as Jesus did, with a fullness of love.

This is my message to all, including those not yet born.