One evening last month, I arrived at the abortion center for my usual time of prayer and counseling. As I was settling into prayer, the abortionist drove into the parking lot and I noticed that his wife and teenage daughter were with him.
After he got out of his car and went inside, his wife and his daughter waved to me and I waved back. This was nothing unusual; we have been exchanging this nicety over the past few years but had never spoken. It was startling, then, when “Mrs.” drove up next to me and rolled down the window. “How are you doing?” she asked. “Good! How about you?” I replied.
What she said next blew me away!
“Good … I just wanted to tell you that I so appreciate what you do and how you are always so nice and respectful!” I thanked her for saying that and then we talked for 45 minutes!
Over the course of that conversation, she shared with me how much of a difference we are making compared to the group in another city that yells at him and pretends to shoot him. She said he can’t understand that we actually DO pray for him. He thinks we pray that he is dead.
I told her that we are praying for his conversion (of heart), not his death, and she said, “Oh I know! I’ve told him that! He just can’t understand how you can be so against what he does and yet so nice to him.” Both she and his teenage daughter encouraged us to continue praying for him, especially since he had been brought up in an atheist home and seemed to have the inability to even grasp religion.
We talked about many things, and while we obviously don’t share the same beliefs about abortion, I saw that we had many things in common — especially love for our families. I think we often forget that those on “the other side” are people, too, and more importantly, that they are God’s children just as we are.
Toward the end of our conversation, “Mrs.” said, “I’m really impressed that you people believe in something so strongly and passionately that you’re willing to be here every week for years in every kind of weather.”
For me, that confirmed the constant presence, the peaceful method, the prayerful attitude. It helped give me a renewed sense of dedication to continually ask people to sign up with ProLifeConnection’s Stand & Pray so we can maintain a regular presence on the sidewalk when the abortion center is open. We need to keep bringing Christ to the world by our non-threatening, loving witness because we may be the only “bible” the atheist abortionist — and others — ever read!
St. John of the Cross said, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will draw out love.” May we never be afraid to bring Christ’s love to those who need it the most!
For more information on how you can get involved with Stand & Pray, please visit www.ProLifeConnection.com or call 419-708-9497.
Ann Barrick is the founder of ProLifeConnection.com and the campaign director for Toledo’s 40 Days for Life. She may be contacted at ann@prolife connection.com.