by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Verse(s): “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” — Eph 4: 14-16
Reflection: Sometimes, because we speak earnestly about being “peaceful, loving, compassionate” Sidewalk Advocates, some might be tempted to think that we are doormats on the sidewalk who never say tough things about abortion!
It’s very true that we believe “people-skills” — knowing God created us, subject to our human condition, attracted to love — are essential on the sidewalk. Indeed, I’m sure you can guess that we don’t win a life-saving conversation with a woman if we are ugly, confrontational, and shouting her head off!
Still, once we make contact and offer love and help and begin to assess the situation and her needs, we might need to be more direct with her about what abortion is and how it will affect her and her child. (In the same way, if she is servicing that Planned Parenthood for something else like birth control, an unmarried woman needs to hear the glory of chastity — or an unmarried woman needs to hear about Natural Family Planning as an alternative to her abortifacient drug.) Still, because the abortion facility has told her that we are “angry protesters” and warns them to stay away from us, we must go out of our way to be the opposite of that image so we have an opportunity to share that truth in love.
Additionally, research, testimony, and experience tell us that she doesn’t want us to “stay stuck” on the plight of abortion, but she needs to hear the “resurrection”: How she can do this, and how we pledge to walk with her as long as she needs us.
Faith Challenge: The next time you are conversing with someone about abortion, ask the Holy Spirit to give you proper discernment to know what the person on the receiving end needs: A listening ear? Understanding and compassion? Or is it time to — in love — share some tougher words?