Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How Does One Respectfully Disagree With Horrific Choices?

Each time I minister with my Cities4Life team at the abortion center sidewalk urging women to choose life, I learn something new. Yesterday, I learned that I really need to shut my mouth and listen more. This is not easy for me. I feel immense urgency to stop these women from heading off a cliff into destruction, not only for the baby but for themselves as well.We have such limited time to compel them to consider coming on our pro-life RV parked on the curb for a free ultrasound, that I tend to squeeze as many great incentives as I can in 15-30 seconds.

That said, I am far too quick to speak and sometimes lose them because they don't feel heard. God really convicted me of this flaw yesterday. A videographer was at the sidewalk developing a video for pro-life use, and he engaged in discussion with one of the pro-choice 'escorts'. These 'escorts' put up an umbrella to shield the women from seeing us as they hurry from their car, across the parking lot, and into the clinic. Many of them warn the women not to talk with us when they drive in or out. They are often quite derisive, and nasty. I tend not to engage with them at all, except to offer them help finding other work.

The video man was having a very civil discussion with the escort. Instead of anger, she was respectfully exchanging ideas with him. He had a gentle demeanor, and when she spoke, he listened. I was nearby, so entered the discussion. My contribution was discussing how our legal system defines the death of an unborn child as murder when an assailant kills a mother and the child...but somehow it is not murder when the mother kills the unborn child. Why are not both instances murder? She said because the unborn child is not human. I asked first, why is the child human in one instance, but not the other, and secondly, at what logical point does the child become human? She didn't answer the first point. Regarding the second, she said the child becomes human when it can breathe on its own. I asked if people on ventilators were not human.

Anyway, I talked a lot. I monopolized the discussion. I am angry at myself. My points were not bad points, but I did not pause to let her feel I was really listening to her. The video man did.

I don't quite know how to balance the need to speak what I feel God has asked me to speak while respecting those I am speaking with to voice their (wrong) views. See? I did it again. I need to x out the word wrong, and I might have a chance at being respectful.

But this is the problem.

I believe with all my heart the views are wrong. I DO believe abortion is murder. I DO believe the unborn child is human. I DO believe that baby has the same right to life as all human beings do. I DO believe abortion is evil, and one of the greatest blights on our country. I DO believe it is barbaric, inhumane...murder. But if I speak harshly, I lose them.

So I struggle. I would appreciate prayers. I don't want the messenger to detract from the message! One must speak truth, but with mercy and grace. It is not always easy when at least forty babies died yesterday at that very place.

We were about to leave to head home when a car pulled out of the parking lot and stopped.  The driver rolled down her window. She smiled with a huge, relieved grin, and said, "I didn't do it."
We all cheered. A drop rescued from the bucket of death, but such a priceless drop.

Romans 12:10 

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Ephesians 4:29 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Proverbs 15:1 

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.


  1. I will pray for you Vicky; this applies to me in many areas...and God has been showing me this very point about me and my approach.

    1. Thank you. it is a hard area to change, but I am increasingly realizing I must.