Choosing life and the human family

By Mark Davis Pickup

Editor’s note. Mark, a good friend, is a Canadian disability rights activist who has spoken at National Right to Life’s annual convention. The following is something he posted today. Following that, I will offer a few thoughts on the music video Mark references, “Choose Life.”

Close to 20 years ago, I wrote and narrated a documentary called “To be, or not to be — the Human Family.”

My creative and talented daughter, Ronaele, and the late David Maise co-produced it. The documentary was aired across North America.

Later, Ronaele and I were being interviewed by the Canadian Christian talk show 100 Huntley Street.

Unbeknownst to me, they preceded the interview with the music video “Choose Life” by the band Big Tent Revival (I did not know the song).

At the end of the music video, I had a lump the size of a grapefruit in my throat. I was not sure I could get through the interview. Happily, my daughter knows her dad and took the lead.


Someone commented at Mark’s blog that they were “not familiar with that powerful pro-life song.” Neither was I. The song was recorded in 1999 by Big Tent Revival, a Christian music group, which over the years has been nominated for 5 Grammies.

The accompanying 3:16 video (symbolism anyone?) is very simple yet very complex, leaving lots of room for us to fill in the blanks.

It begins with a clearly distraught young woman, and although it is never said explicitly, clearly we are to understand she is pregnant. The first thing we see is her looking at a photo we assume to be of her as a youngster with her dad. She drops the photo on the ground.

Later as she is walking home with her groceries, she sees the guys in the band getting out of their car. When she arrives at her apartment, down the hall a couple of doors from where the guys are practicing, she hears them singing… Choose Life.

She approaches the door….but can’t work up the nerve to knock.

But when they leave their room she sneaks a peek at the lead singer hand-written notes (over which he has been struggling). She sees “Choose Life” repeated over and over and over again.

The video ends with the band returning to their room and the lead singer looking down the hall at the young woman who has the pages in her hands. Her expression? For the first time there is hope in her face, but the video ends with the question left hanging…what happens next?

The first two stanzas are

A choice is set before you now
Living or dying, blessing or cursing
You know, the time has come around
To turn from your fighting and rest in his mercy

Choose life, that you might live
The life that He gives, He gives you forever
Choose life, the way that is true
From the One who chose you, your Father in heaven
Choose life

Two quick thoughts.

First, we often never know whom we influence, how, or why. We aren’t songwriters, but living a life that sends the message we care for women and girls facing unplanned pregnancies can be incredibly powerful. Remember: many times they are under intense pressure to abort.

Second, at times like that, a woman or girl needs to know that she also has a Heavenly Father who cares for her and her baby. There is another stanza that I’ve listened to multiple times today:

And the weight you’re under
Will be lifted away and the world will wonder
What happened here today?
Then you’ll stand right there and say
Choose life, that you might live

Take 3 minutes and 16 seconds out and watch “Choose Life.”