I just came back from a 12 day trip in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Not surprisingly, I had nothing but ‘speedbumps’ that negatively impacted my trip – issues with my son’s summer visitation, a death in the family, and my personal favorite: I had to get two teeth pulled the Saturday before Memorial Day as an emergency in a city where I do not live. YAY.
I had the privilege to go to the sidewalk in Baton Rouge to see the faithful prolife warriors in action. I was elated to see Evangelicals and Catholics sharing the sidewalk in peace and love. But that isn’t always the case. I had the time this morning to peruse a bunch of video regarding abortion facility sidewalk counseling and I have to say that I was not impressed nor was I driven into action by them. I found these videos, from various ministries and movements, to be an embarrassment to the prolife cause.
‘We are called to do an uncommon thing on a common sidewalk for a people that despise us.’
One of my biggest beefs with some counselors is being confrontational with OTHER PROLIFERS. I have said a bazillion times that we are supposed to be there to HELP, not make pre-abortive women and abortion workers laugh at us. Now, I’ve seen it both ways: Catholics telling Evangelicals we’re wrong and Evangelical groups confronting praying Catholics. Both are trying to proselyte, which as a minister I GET, but is that really the right time? I say NO, and BTW, I’m RIGHT….so don’t write me and tell me otherwise. I’ve read the Bible too, probably more times than most and know there is an order to the things of God. So, by the time you’ve tried to convert or embarrass other prolifers, unborn children died during your diatribe. I believe that this bullying is exactly that: BULLYING.
Which brings me to a common problem with prolifers is who gets the best part of the sidewalk. I mean seriously. When I saw this [it was in a Western state], I could not believe what I saw. One ‘movement’ totally took over everything so that no one else could come and minister in peace. Every prolifer should be welcome to come and pray, do an uncommon thing on a common sidewalk. I thought it was a blatant case of bullying and did not promote a culture of LIFE.
Considering everything, I’ve thought a lot about this and considered that maybe getting organized with other prolifers would be the way to go, but I nearly instantly disregarded that. However, I will say that if you have a specific MINISTRY or part of a Church that has a prolife ministry, then of course that should be organized so that all hours are covered. This isn’t a place to show up to make you feel better about yourself for going; this is a place where unborn children die every day. Show up when you’re supposed to, rain or shine, snow or more snow. Sidewalk counselors are the last line of defense that can change the mind of the pre-abortive THAT DAY, until the next day and the day after that.
Another thing that was just blatantly horrible in these videos is the way these counselors talk and mutter under their breath about the pre-abortive moms, their coercers, abortion workers, etc. People are not trash, we are all made by a Holy God. Be the Evangelical or Catholic you say you are, wipe the dust off your feet and go on to the next [Matt 10:14]. Now, I understand how frustrating it is to be cussed out by a coercer that just dropped off her daughter and has a small child in the car screaming over her at you while the child covers her little ears. Horrible. BUT what she and others need is prayer and the space to rant because they know….I MEAN THEY KNOW that what they are doing is WRONG. Their reaction proves it.
You will see every walk of life, every kind of person. Pray for them. Be the Servant and Christian example they need to see, be what may be the only Light they may ever see:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]