50 years ago last week, my beloved parents, Mary Jo and Dr. Joseph Graham, welcomed me into the world as their firstborn in Brockton, Massachusetts, a small town outside of Boston.
Some of my years have easily flashed, and some have lingered laboriously. Either way, the years have been lived.
Many obsessed with ephemeral youth and beauty in our modern society lament each birthday as a loss—as if something has been unjustly taken, and thus the day is one of tacit mourning, despite overt celebrations with friends, food, cards, and presents. The focus is on the fading present, rather than the approaching hereafter.
However, I view birthdays differently.
Our home is not here, yet. While we have a certain amount of time to live in this fallen world, this temporal world is not our ultimate existence.
My father, who died at 88 on July 22 of 2014, has already met the physical, triumphant Christ, answered for every thought, word, and deed, and been told his eternal fate.
Before time, the Author of Life numbered my days as He did all that is to be accomplished by and through me for the Kingdom.
While I optimistically plan to live to 100—as if I truly have any control over the number of days that have been ordained for me—I feel confident in asserting that my race home is at least half completed; I have spent half of the time given to me to accomplish my mission. I know I have not accomplished all that was mine to do.
My personal, final judgment grows closer every day.
Before you think that I have taken this opportunity to preach and admonish, let me be clear: I am a sinner who has strayed grievously.
While the modern world likes to say that our mistakes and flaws make us who we are, I will state that I am truly sorry for all the sins I have committed, that I am firmly resolved to avoid such future sins, and that I wish I could go back in time and not commit those very acts against God and my fellow man.
My sins have in no way made me a better man. Quite the opposite. My sins have prevented me from doing His will and accomplishing His tasks.
With each passing year, the destructive character of my sins becomes clearer and the need to repent and avoid even the temptation (certain people, places, and things) grows louder in my conscience.
I particularly lament that which I did not do, especially that which pertains to my work in the Pro-Life field.
I have not always stood up to evil and vigorously fought when provided the opportunity.
The virtue of courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, courage is performing the proper act in the face of fear, obstacles, and doubt.
Waging war with open advocates of death is often easy because these battles provide few opportunities for retreat.
However, where I have fallen short is in showing deference and even cowardice in standing up against individuals and organizations that have the historical patina of being on the side of Truth and Life: posers, frauds, and liars who have traded principle for power and are covered in the blood of the Innocents.
My promise to you as I begin my run home is that I, and Texas Right to Life, will be far more vocal and aggressive in defending Life. We will no longer remain silent when bullied by the prevailing establishment, by media trends, by pop-culture dictates, or by the ruling class to stand down and cease in our defense of Truth.
We will likely pay a price for our increased vigilance, as a few who are in and of the world will no longer be comfortable walking with Texas Right to Life. In particular, we will lose the support of a handful of powerful elected officials and possibly some major donors. We will pray their souls will not be eternally lost, but we will march forward and never look back.
As we start 2016, a year that will prove pivotal in our nation’s history, please pray that I, and Texas Right to Life, will be blessed with the exceptional wisdom and courage necessary to expose and defeat the diabolical forces in Texas, advance the Culture of Life, and build the Kingdom of God.
The Resistance grows.