I have been a sidewalk counselor in front of abortion centers for 10 years now. I suspect that, when I began, I was gentler and probably less willing to voice hard truths to the women we encountered. I know that over the years that I have been doing this, I tend to go more quickly to a stronger caution to the women from the Lord. I try to do it all with a gentle and kind tone. I try to listen and engage in rational discussions with them; however, I shrink less from proclaiming scriptural truth of the wickedness of what they are doing along with the pleading of God to return to Him.
Recently, we had a group of people who claim to love God who came to the abortion center sidewalk where we minister. Their tone was clearly one of deep anger and bitterness. They were calling the women names like whores and murderers. They were raising fists and screaming at every woman. It did not sound at all like love. For me, it clearly crossed the line from a prophetic utterance into self-righteous anger.
I don’t know if I could define exactly where that line is. But I think it lives in a place of love and truth spoken with compassion knowing that all of us deserve God’s wrath. All of us have strayed from Him. All of us deserve hell. All of us were once in a place of deception and separation from our Creator. We need to constantly remember who we were and what God did for us.
Our counselor called me and asked me what she should do. She was distraught because the message of that other group hurt her soul. It was everything she believed Love Life was not. Yet she did not want to engage in division or in a shouting match. I encouraged her to keep using the microphone so our message would be heard. I told her our group should probably separate from where that other group was standing so that there was a clear distinction to the women going in. There was little else we could do. It is a public sidewalk.
I think we all have to examine in our own hearts the message that God would have us give. I would warn everyone who has been in the pro-life world for a long time not to let bitterness, frustration and anger become the motivation for their speech. I believe it is what I was hearing when the counselor recorded and played for me what that other group was saying.
I think I am seeing and hearing that tone from some other groups more often following Roe v. Wade being overturned. I was trying to figure out this morning as I was praying why that might be the case.
I think that we all had a hope within us that if only Roe v. Wade were overturned, our nation would be free of this scourge of abortion. We knew we would still have battles, but I think we all hoped – probably beyond rational hope – that this was the beginning of the end of abortion.
That does not at all seem to be the case. If anything, the battle has become more difficult. Yes, there are some states where it is banned. But the outlying states where it is still legal have seen an influx of people aborting from states around them. Their teams are struggling to handle the demands emotionally, physically and spiritually of seeing the numbers of abortions increase so dramatically in their area. I think there’s increased frustration, disillusionment and discouragement as the states who seek to limit abortion do not eliminate it. There is fighting within our own ranks regarding how to go about the legal eradication of abortion.
I don’t know the answer. The only answer I can find is that I am to abide in the Lord. I am to seek His wisdom and His purpose for my life. In as much as it depends on me, I am to speak to as many people as I can to discourage the choice for abortion. I am never to neglect the Gospel, knowing that it alone is the power of transformation and salvation.
“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
– 2 Chronicles 20:12