Over the next couple weeks, we will be sharing a series of posts that address many of the tough questions we encounter during our pro-life outreach. We hope to provide you with practical responses that help you not only understand how to respond, but also why we are addressing these concerns and questions in the first place.
However, even with the “right” answers tucked into your belt, pro-life outreach often includes being personally attacked. Regardless of the accusations made against us personally, there is one way in which we must always respond: with a heart full of love, reaching out to the other’s heart that is in need of healing and of hearing the truth. This initial blog post addresses this core foundation of our pro-life outreach and how you can live this out, even when faced with hostility.
Let Love Win:
Bringing our Hearts to our Pro-Life Outreach
Written by Joanna Krawczynski, Western Campus Coordinator
Sometimes, Life Chain can seem like a discouraging form of outreach. The only feedback we tend to receive at a Life Chain are honks, yells, and a variety of hand gestures. The high school students I was with during my most recent Life Chain event were the recipients of all the above – one student was even the victim of a drive-by drink throwing.
Luckily, the fellow who threw his unfinished iced coffee from his car window did not aim right, and his drink crashed between the curb and the highway, rather than on the bright purple shirt of the student. The other high school students on the sidewalk were understandably shaken and surrounded their friend with concern, “Are you okay?”
One girl asked, “Aren’t you mad?”
The student responded, “No… why should I be?” She laughed, “I mean, maybe he just thought I was thirsty!”
Grace abounds from the heart that is full of love.
That’s the only way I can understand this student’s gracious response to adversity.
One might be tempted to think that we have every right to be frustrated with the censorship and opposition we so often encounter. But how can a heart that is held captive by bitterness or anger be free to extend love?
After all, what kind of Canada do we want to grow old in?
Are we seeking to build a culture of hostility or of hospitality?
And I’m not talking compromise – to be a voice of hope and healing requires that we recognize that something has been broken, that something has gone seriously awry and is in need of rescue.
And yes. Even when we approach each conversation with the kindest heart and the most sincere compassion, we will still face adversity. Many of the people to whom we are reaching out are standing on shaky foundations built on lies about their value and the value of human life. When we try to dismantle this, it is no wonder that we encounter reactions such as anger and are personally attacked with iced coffee or hurtful comments.
One afternoon, a fellow who identified as pro-choice told me, “I honestly hope you do not succeed. You will be hurting a lot of women in the process.”
As I mentioned then, dear student, and I repeat now, I honestly hope we do succeed in sharing this message of hope and healing. I personally know too many women who have been hurt by abortion. For their sake and for the lives of their little ones, we cannot keep silent.
In the words of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, in his letter from the Birmingham jail,
“If I have said anything that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.”
Next time you engage in a conversation, ask yourself: What is motivating you to have this conversation? Are you speaking out of a true desire to heal the broken, or out of a need to win a debate? Further, when we encounter situations of hostility or adversity, how do we respond: with grace, or with grumbling? When we bring our hearts to pro-life outreach, even in situations of hostility, we really only have one option:
LET LOVE WIN.