Monday, October 19, 2009

Being the Lone Voice

Lindsay Oliver is an acquaintance of mine, and she shares her experience of praying at 40 Days for Life, Halifax:

A young couple walked past the site, seemingly paying no attention to it or the people there, but then, they walked past me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw their walk slow, and they turned their heads, doing a double take on me and then slowly, they walked away. Perhaps they were surprised seeing a younger woman there, praying to end my so-called “freedom to choose,” or perhaps it was something else, without having talked with them, I can’t say what went on in their hearts and minds for those few seconds, but I can say what went on in mine: conviction and power. Normally that attention would have made me feel timid, but today, seeing two young people take notice of me, made me feel powerful and again, confident in what I was doing. It finally hit me just how important and powerful counter-cultural youth can be and I thank God that I was there, and given the opportunity to experience that lesson.

Ever since my youth, being the "lone voice", speaking up when no one else would has made me feel powerful. I've been like this since at least the age of 12 or 13.

It's true that standing alone can make you vulnerable. But if you don't risk it, you'll never win. You have to be willing to expose yourself. And that means expecting people to insult you, and possibly even physically threaten you.

When we get over our fear of vulnerability, that's when we become strong. There are many human motives to dissipate our fears. But the best motive is Jesus Christ.

Look at the Crucifix. There is the picture of vulnerability. To people of his time, it was the picture of defeat and shame. Not only was Jesus tried,convicted scourged and executed-- he suffered these things in the most humiliating way possible.

Remember the way the Roman soldiers and other mockers scoffed at him? Remember how they gave him vinegar to drink when he was thirsty, and tried to finish him off with a spear?

That's part and parcel of the life of those who stand up for the Truth. If that's the life of the Master, what do you suppose awaits the servants?

But nothing would have been gained without that trial. The phrase "no guts, no glory" applies to Christians. People think that being part of a social movement should be something that makes you feel good, something that lifts you up in the eyes of the people, the way the Civil Rights movement did for Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.

It doesn't work that way.

If you really want to advance the cause of unborn children, you must be willing to work against the consensus; you must be willing to take your jabs. You must be willing to submit to the experience of the cross, feeling humiliated and defeated, but trusting in the power of God to raise us up.

It is that willingness to bear all trials that will allow us to win. In life, when two teams of equal talent play against each other, it is the team that wants it most that wins. Even in a game where the teams are unevenly matched, the will to win can sometimes make up for the lack of strength.

When pro-lifers are willing to be that lone voice, and suffer whatever must be suffered, that's when we will be powerful. It doesn't take millions of people to change public opinion and change the course of public policy. And I know there are millions of pro-lifers in Canada. When we want it badly enough, we'll have our victory.