This Christmas season, I am so grateful for the gift of counselors, medical staff, and volunteers at pregnancy resource centers who help moms find support and resources to answer their immediate “hows.” My heart is filled with joy at the thought of women being able to put aside significant fears and concerns in order to enjoy their pregnancy because of these centers.
If you have family members that you do not see often, you know the routine: a lot of hugs, a lot of laughs, a lot of discussions, no sleep, and leaving feeling like you could’ve spent a whole week with those people. It was no different for the Executive Team’s meeting this past month. As a former long-time missionary, this sentiment does not stay at the level of the Executive Team but penetrates throughout the entire organization and it is this Christian family model that makes it possible for each missionary to cross the finish line in St. Louis every year.
“I don’t remember how many water bottle drops we did or what all the scenery was like on the many miles between Tylertown, MS and St. Louis, MO, but when I think about Biking for Babies, I remember the community and the laughs we shared.” Connor invites you to reflect on the joys and trials in your everyday life.
Through the many circumstances of my years in those maternity homes, I was given the privilege of being continually drawn out of my comfort zone, experienced incomprehensible joy, was brought to deep sadness, felt sheer exhaustion, and found the deepest sense of God’s faithfulness and redemption.
As you are approaching the door, a middle-aged woman comes out…looks at you…looks at the miniaturized bus known as a shopping cart…looks at you again and says, “Boy, you have your hands full!” To live the Christian and pro-life more deeply, we have to change our language and our reaction to families. So, the next time you see a mom or dad herding their kids through the store and trying to grab something on the top shelf: DON’T stare out of the corner of your eye, DON’T turn up the music in your headphones and ignore it, and DON’T walk away. Instead, go and encounter and become a part of that family for all of 30 seconds.
We have a lot of work to do to renew a culture of life, and accepting that vision in our everyday lives is essential to changing the world. Just as Jesus called these 72 to be missionaries, God calls each of us, in our own seasons of life, to go on mission for Him. That is, to live each day in search of an opportunity to help someone and make their day better, all for the glory of God.
As a Canadian, born, raised and now living in the Nation’s Capital of Ottawa, I get to witness the many dimensions of the pro-life movement. Just as the matters pertaining to Life in Canada are complex and multifaceted, to change this current, involves multi-faceted approaches too, guided by the Holy Spirit.
Our missionaries looked tired, beaten down, and exhausted when they pulled in. Despite all of that, when our missionaries crossed the finish line, every one of them had a smile on their face. The Celebration of Life is always beautiful. If you ever have the chance to go, I encourage it. You cannot avoid the boost your faith will receive from seeing God’s work through these young missionaries.
While the Celebration of Life is about welcoming and congratulating the missionaries, it is about so much more than that. It is about growing a community. You know how they say it takes a village to raise children? Well, it takes a village to truly “renew the culture of life!”
When I look into someone’s eyes, either a student mom at our weekly family dinner or a stranger I pass on the sidewalk, I experience an invitation to see the other as someone to behold, no matter who they are. Every day I’m presented with countless opportunities to choose to gaze at their humanity and be moved by it, or to choose comfort and passivity.