Much of the work that Pro-Life Wisconsin ETF does is to empower, strengthen, and support those who are already pro-life so that they in turn can evangelize the culture to respect all human life. Ultimately, however, the goal is to change the hearts and minds of those who do not recognize the dignity of human life. Sometimes I am concerned that we are preaching to the choir or simply providing a community and nurturing those who are already pro-life. While this is good, people often ask if we do more to get the message out loud and clear to the audience who needs to hear it. Isn’t this our ultimate goal after all? IT IS and we are doing more than ever to bring the good news of the Gospel of Life to a secular culture who is hungry to hear this message of compassion, joy and mercy.
The Holy Spirit prompts us when there are opportunities to spread the gospel of life, and that is exactly what happened to me at the Men of Christ Conference 2015. I attended the conference as one of the many vendor displays to encourage the men in attendance to actively live out their strong, life affirming beliefs through Pro-Life Wisconsin. Most of these men were already pro-life and knew about the education, legislation, and activism efforts of Pro-Life Wisconsin.
As I stood there handing out pens and encouraging these men to stay in touch with us through our newsletter, I noticed a young lady who was working as an usher for the venue, the Milwaukee Theater. Despite the crowds, she seemed a bit lonesome and bored. She had been standing all day with nothing to do other than occasionally point someone in the direction of the restrooms. The Holy Spirit prompted me, “Reach out to her, give her a PLW pen and newsletter sign up form.” At first, I dismissed the idea, convincing myself that the reason I was there was to get men who were already pro-life to live out their beliefs. “Who knows if she is even pro-life, and if she isn’t then what if she gets upset with me?” I rationalized. I thought perhaps it would be better to avoid possible confrontation. Then the Holy Spirit nudged me again, “What is the mission of Pro-Life Wisconsin? What if this young lady simply needs an invitation? What if she is wrestling with her own beliefs on abortion, euthanasia, etc.?”
Finally, I took the simple step I knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do. I simply offered her a pen and newsletter sign up form. She accepted it gratefully and then turned around to read our sign as if she had not even noticed it yet. She noticed that we were a pro-life organization and she immediately said, “I would never choose that for myself, but I’m pro-choice because I don’t think that I should make the decision for other women. What they want to do is their own business.” I engaged her briefly in conversation asking how, if she knew it would be a bad choice for her, she could support the choice to abort for someone else. She seemed to continue to ponder things as our conversation ended and she walked away.
Later in the day she approached the table again. This time she was a bit more joyful and happily announced, “I filled out your form to receive your newsletter.” She wanted to learn more about the good news of the Gospel of Life.
As the conference came to a close, I was one of the last vendor tables to pack up. As I began to put things away, she came around the corner eager to help me instead of just standing by idle. She helped me get everything in order, and we said good bye as if we had been friends for years. The Holy Spirit had opened me up to extend an invitation to her, and in turn, she opened up to receive that invitation with joy. That day the Pro-Life Wisconsin’s outreach table’s only purpose may have been to reach out to this young lady and invite her to celebrate the dignity of every human life. Even if this was the only heart and mind I was able to reach in that long Saturday, it was well worth it.