Take Action – Caring for Pro-Life Advocates
Originally posted at: https://anglicansforlife.org/2019/11/18/take-action-caring-for-pro-life-advocates/
Each month we will offer a list of action ideas so you can defend, honor, and celebrate Life in your churches and communities on our Take Action page. This month, we are looking at caring for pro-life advocates.
In October 2019, two women walked across one of three of the University of Toronto campuses. It was a cold, rainy, miserable day, and they carried two signs with them that seemingly reflected the awfulness of the weather. The signs read, “I regret my abortion.” But despite the sorrow and despair written out so boldly on the signs, these two women, who serve as Regional Coordinators and pro-life advocates for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Canada, shared a message of peace and healing after abortion. Yes, their abortions emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually damaged them, but God healed them and gave them hope. And yet, while one woman was sharing her real and very painful story, someone walked by, stopped, and spat at them. Spat at them. For sharing a painful, personal truth that devastated their lives and the lives of friends and families.
While many life-affirming people face criticism for their
views, most don’t endure taunting, cruelty, threats, or even direct
violence. Sadly, pro-life advocates,
such as sidewalk counselors, pregnancy center workers and volunteers, and
abortion recovery leaders, find this opposition all too familiar. In addition to harassment, however, many of
these advocates also face spiritual and emotional wear and tear. They grieve when they find themselves
powerless to stop a woman from having an abortion. They are numbed by the awareness of just how
many abortions are happening worldwide.
They are frustrated by the media’s indifference to the hastened deaths
of the elderly, mentally incompetent, or depressed people in Europe and North
America. These women and men on the
frontlines of life issues struggle to feel the weight and importance ending of
abortion and euthanasia and yet not be crushed by it.
The Church plays an essential role in encouraging and
providing succor for these advocates. If
you know someone who works at a pregnancy center, check in with them and see
how you can be praying for them or helping them. Encourage abortion recovery leaders when you
know they are leading a group of people through healing. Talk with sidewalk counselors and allow them
to share their frustrations if they need a listening ear. Don’t feel like you know any pro-life
advocates? How about a youth leader
working to teach teens about abstinence and sexual risk avoidance? A son or daughter serving as an aging
parent’s full-time caregiver? A priest
or pastor addressing abortion from the pulpit?
While these may not be traditionally thought of as “pro-life advocates”
they are nonetheless doing the real work of honoring and protecting lives.
We trust that God will one day bring an end to abortion,
euthanasia and assisted suicide. But
until that day, remember to pray and encourage those whose ministry and work is
about serving God’s gift of Life.
- Create a prayer team for life advocates in your church and community. Pray for them, their families, and their ministries.
- Put together a “thank you” package for people you know in life ministry. Include notes of encouragement, as well as small comfort items, to know they are appreciated.
- Allow them the opportunity to grieve for the lives they could not save and talk about their feelings.