Just one item today – a report from Brad Taylor, the 40 Days for Life leader in Perth, on Australia’s west coast. Brad’s words show the challenges posed by abortion are worldwide; but so is Christ’s love and mercy.
It’s been an amazing start to this 40 Days for Life in Perth. Sometimes when we are on the very frontlines of the battle, we don’t hear all the encouraging news, or really comprehend the tremendous impact of our actions.
Many of us are aware of the strident opposition we have faced, not only to the conduct of the 40-day vigil at all (especially the first time), but in particular to the display of any sort of signage at the vigil site.
This is not surprising given how effective such signs are in conveying the truth about abortion and the alternatives available, and in dissuading women from making a choice they will later regret, at the last possible moment to do so. The signs we use are of course not gratuitous, but life affirming, offering real hope and free help to anyone who wants it.
The battle of the signs is one it seems we have to have – and win – every year, and this year has been no exception. Once again, senior police have stepped in to rule that we do in fact have the right to display life-affirming images and slogans outside a place of death.
The fact that this is so offensive to some in the community speaks much more to their values and agendas, than it does to any innate offensiveness contained in our G-rated images. How else could someone take offense at a sign offering free medical and financial assistance, crisis accommodation and other help to those members of our society who may be at that moment most in need?
Opposition comes in many forms. The opposition I personally hate the most is that passive, apathetic spirit that manifests itself so frequently in the Church in relation to critical issues such as abortion.
By contrast, copping some abuse yelled out the window of a passing car is a positive encouragement. I personally experienced no less than six such occurrences in one morning this week; the best one being a young man who stopped to berate me: “Why don’t you go and do something productive with your time instead of making young girls upset and stuff.”
I can’t say how encouraging this was for me, expletives and all, because this young man understood something that most of our fellow Christians have not: women are being hurt in that place, and it is our responsibility as fellow citizens to address the injustice. Sure, the young man hadn’t figured out the real nature of the injustice or the damage being done, but after allowing for that, his response was awesome. When the blinkers come off these men they will be powerful advocates for life.
As Jesus said in Revelation, I would rather you were hot or cold. It is a tremendous privilege to work with a team of prayer volunteers who truly are “hot” – moved by the things that move the heart of God, willing to put their own comfort and reputation at stake, and to take a stand in the public square. No matter the cost. It is a privilege to stand with you in prayer, and before the throne of God.
The fact is that your presence outside the abortion clinic, and your prayers, and your signs, are having a powerful effect. Pregnancy resource centres in the city are reporting significantly higher numbers of women accessing their services, and going on to choose life.
We don’t know their details; chances are as we stand outside the abortion centre through the heat of the day we are even unaware that anyone has even been affected; and yet lives are being saved through your commitment every day.
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Thanks to Brad Taylor for some great insights from Down Under!