When I was first asked to write a “prolife column” for the Chronicle, little did I know that my “debut” would come when major pro-life legislation would be developing in Ohio and across the nation!
Three important bills have recently passed in the Ohio House of Representatives and will be introduced soon in the Ohio Senate. One in particular is the Heartbeat Bill, an historic piece of legislation which, if enacted, would save thousands of babies in our state and could be the catalyst for the Supreme Court to take another look at Roe v. Wade.
This is an exciting time to be involved in the pro-life movement, yet we can’t lose our focus about what is most important: the movement of human hearts toward God.
With this column, I’ll try to keep you abreast of pro-life issues, share my own stories and those of others and let you know about various pro-life ministries. Most of all, I hope to show how the building up and tearing down of the culture of life begins and ends with God, the author of LIFE!
I have been actively involved in pro-life ministry since 2004 when a good friend invited me and a few others to join her in praying outside an abortion center. Our “work” started as “prayer in action:” standing outside an abortion center, simply praying.
Some would say that there is more to the pro-life movement than that, and they would be correct. The abortion center, however, is the flash-point, where the ultimate atrocity takes place. It is where what should be the safest place on earth — a mother’s womb — becomes the most terrifying for the most innocent among us. It is where it can seem that God is no longer present, that He has abandoned us.
And yet … it is exactly at that lonely, seemingly hate-filled place of death where we must bring Christ’s love. It isn’t easy being there, but God is never outdone in generosity.
When we stand outside the abortion center and pray, we are bringing Christ into the world by our witness, letting Him shine through us. God can take something so horrible and bring great good out of it in ways we may never know. It can seem dismal when we don’t see any progress, when it feels that none of what we do makes a difference. At those times, we would do well to remember what Blessed Mother Teresa said, “God doesn’t ask us to be successful. He asks us to be faithful.” I have personally discovered that my own faith has grown in and through unexpected ways because I regularly pray at that dreaded place.
In a world of darkness, we are to be candles of light, filling ourselves with God and bringing His light to the world, especially to those places where it seems hopeless. We are to be witnesses of hope, of life, of love to those who need it most: the ones who are mired in the muck of the culture of death. Each one of us is called to be a light in this world, and if we allow ourselves to be transformed by God, He will transform the world through us.
“A light shined in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:5) Let’s pray for God to show each f us what He wants us to do to build the culture of life, to bring His light into the world and to bring our world back to Him. That we do our part is all He asks. He will do the rest.
Ann Barrick is the founder of ProLifeConnection.com and the campaign director for Toledo’s 40 Days for Life. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.