Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 24 - the painful truth at the last line of defense

There are moments that i haven't covered too thoroughly on this blog... the things that are thrown at those of us who continue to walk that sidewalk across from the kensington abortion clinic... obscenities, gestures, name calling and more (along with undeserved applause, thumbs up and smiles and waves... we get both).  i don't need to go into it too deeply because it's such a small part of what we're doing. 
Dave volunteered to respond to concerns about a sign that is used at the vigil on 5th Ave.  He said it's nice with all the negativity that gets thrown at them - that he can have a chance to form a cognitive response.  His words are *honest* and *raw* - God, give us eyes to see. 
i am learning so much from this family... but that's a post for another day. 


by dave

This is in response to those who not like the "Mommy, will it hurt?" sign.
No, we will not take that sign out of circulation. 
It is my sign, and my wife carries it, and it has a specific purpose -- to humanize the baby that is being killed in the clinic across the street. 

How is that showing love to the broken women going into the clinic?  We do love those women.  That is why we are out there praying that they don't go through with the abortion.  We are not in the post-abortion therapy business.  We are the last line of defense for the abortion holocaust that is occurring at an ever-increasing pace.  And occurring in my neighborhood.  And I am suppose to soft shoe around the issue for fear of making someone feel bad?

Why is that so terrible to tell someone that it is a baby they are about to kill?  It is a human being being destroyed.  What is wrong or judgemental about that?  It is the Truth.

It is the successful de-humanization of the "fetus" by the abortion industry that now has large sections of society willing to look the other way as this killing spree continues unabated.  And at a tidy profit for someone.  If we are successful at pointing out that it is a baby, then we may cause one person to stop and think about what they are about to do.  Then the sign, and our efforts, are successful.  And if that is upsetting to some people, tough.

Any sign that humanizes the baby -- I am OK with it.  Let's consider why someone would be so judgemental of me for carrying the sign.  Because of how someone about to kill their baby might feel?  Really?  Would Jesus carry a sign that says, "It's OK to kill your baby"?  I don't think so.  Jesus just may take a whip inside the killing clinic for all we know.

We won't do that. 

And we won't carry a sign that says "you are loved and forgiven", because I don't know if anyone is asking for forgiveness.  And my forgiveness doesn't matter anyway.  They have to feel forgiveness from God, and they have to forgive themselves.  Many do not, and want us to be quiet to silence their guilt. 

Silent no more.



  1. Love this line...."Jesus may just take a whip inside the killing clinic for all we know." I find that the church focuses on love and grace so much and not enough on truth. They must always be in balance. God is love but He is also holy and when reading through His Word I find that He does not tolerate evil. Killing innocent babies is evil. I don't doubt that many women are deceived but are we helping them by candy coating their sin? They need to repent so they can experience freedom and forgiveness. Just as I do when I sin. We must help them to see the magnitude of their wrong.

  2. This is what is so encouraging about "the body" - that we all serve different functions - and yet we are still working together.

  3. I am very encouraged by the conviction and commitment to God’s goodness that is happening here.

    But I wholly and heartily disagree that we need to “help them to see the magnitude of their wrong.” As fellow broken, sinful people, we do not convict people of their sin; that’s God’s job (and thank God for that!). Frankly, I myself am kept quite busy trying to follow God’s directives about the plank in my own eye.

    God is the one who convicts, He is the one who stirs up that little cry, by His Spirit, in the depths of our created being. We cannot shame people into the love of God. Nor do we want to. All people are created in the very image of God – so how we treat them is how we treat Christ Himself, since they bear His image. It IS our job to serve them, by prayer, counsel, and whatever else is in love to those made like us, in God’s image.

    It is my prayer that the unloving (regardless of their truth) signs are discarded altogether, and that faithful prayer continues daily, minutely to redeem this mess into the good, good, good, good, very good creation He intended it to be.

  4. Shelley - so good.
    One thing that i think makes a difference is my favourite line in Dave's post, "we are not in the post abortion therapy business - we are the last line of defense". His hope is to - even at this last moment in time - *rescue the innocent*.
    i imagine the grief of a mother who realizes days, months, years, decades later what she has done - she might wish that someone had told her that it was her child she carried - her very own flesh and blood.
    i don't want to see unloving signs either - but i'm not convinced i'm the one to decide which ones can be labeled as such.

  5. Dave emailed me a response (he's new to this whole blogging gig :) hehe.
    i'll post it for him here verbatim:

    I respectfully disagree. I think people need to be pointed out that what they are doing is wrong. A sin, I guess. These women, yes. But it is not just them. And it should not be laid out on only them. What about the men who forcefully push them into this crisis, and the "solution" to their problem. How about the families that force this decision upon a girl. Why is this woman in crisis to begin with? And why is she all alone? It took more than her to create this crisis.
    And the wrongness of abortion needs to be pointed out to all of the extended persons involved. I don't want to lay this all on these women.
    But the fact remains, a baby is being slaughtered for the convenience of others. And that is wrong. We have to point that out because so many deny it. So many want to push that aside. I do not like being the heavy in all this. But it seems to be forced on me by what we are faced with.

  6. I agree, it's a fine line to walk, especially when you have faces to go with the concept - when you know women who have unwittingly or knowingly chosen abortion. When you can put a face to it, i do find i choose my words a little more carefully - not to cloak the truth, but to tell it "in love" - which is hard, because abortion is so very abhorrent and unnatural and wicked. I do understand that we live in a fallen world, and things happen that are violent, cruel, needless. But if i have to choose between the life of a tiny person with no voice, and the feelings of a grown woman with all the power... I would rather try to save the little baby than remain silent out of fear...

  7. Just to clarify....I did not say that we need to convict people of their sin. I completely agree that that is God's role. I said we need to help them see the magnitude of their sin. I hate to think of where I would be if no one helped me see the magnitude of my sin. Most of the times I am convicted of my sin it's because God used another person to speak truth into my life. That is what the body of Christ should be all about. We should be here to help each other live right. Where would I be if I didn't have godly, loving people to point out the wrong I am doing?? All throughout God's Word HE appointed people to go and speak the truth to the nations. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Noah, Micah, John, Peter, Paul, etc. etc. Each of these men were asked to help other people see the magnitude of their sin. Sometimes they spoke gently, sometimes they spoke extremely firm, and sometimes their message could even be considered cruel. The important thing is that they said what God asked them to say. I believe the message should always be given in love.....and if I were counseling a woman who was considering abortion I would be ever so tender with her. I have walked through enough pain in my life to understand that people need grace upon grace and love upon love. But I would also tell her that an abortion would be wrong. I would help her to see a better way than killing. I would not tell her that she *just* needs to listen to what God is telling her because we already know what God says about killing. I would gently point her to the truth that is already written in God's Word.

    You say that...God IS the one who convicts but I am not trying to convict anyone. I am just trying to teach the's always up to that person whether they will be tender to God's voice speaking to them....whether it's God's voice speaking through me or someone else or just His still small voice in their heart.

    I believe that the church needs to work together on this issue. Some are called to speak the truth boldly, some are called to pray, some are called to be the tender ones who wrap the hurting ones in love. We are a body and we should each use our gifts to compliment one another. Together, we could see this bloodbath come to an end.

  8. One more thought.....(sorry, we're in the middle of moving so I haven't had much time to think about this but there was one more thing you said Shelley that was bugging me and I couldn't figure it out. I finally had time to think it through when I was feeding my baby in the night and I figured out what it was.)
    You said that...."We cannot shame people into the love of God." And I completely agree with that statement. God NEVER uses shame (even though He could) but He always uses truth and kindness. However, I think we need to understand what shame is.

    Shame is a feeling we get when we are belittled. Guilt is a feeling we get when we are convicted. (There is also false guilt but that's another issue altogether)

    Speaking the truth from God's Word does not produce shame. It produces guilt. And that is a good thing. We should feel guilty when disobey God's standard.

    If I were to hold a sign that said..."You are stupid for killing your baby" THAT would be shaming them. But holding a sign that says..."Killing the innocent" THAT is simply speaking the truth from God's Word. It's what they are doing.

    I believe many Canadians (especially in the church) have mixed these two up....shame and guilt. And because of it...we are silent when we should be speaking up. We are so afraid of being offensive or shaming someone that we say nothing at all. I know I have "been there" many times. But God has been laying it on my heart that enough is enough. How long will I sit silent for fear of hurting someone or shaming them? How long will I help the cause of abortion by saying nothing? No longer.

    I do hurt so much for these men and women who choose to kill their baby. But being silent is not loving them. And I ache for the babies being killed. It's heartbreaking. We must gently but boldly teach the truth. It's truth that sets people free. And there is nothing I want more than to see people living joy filled lives because they are free from the lies of the enemy.

  9. I think that individually we all respond to one sign/wording of a sign more than another.
    For me, I would probably need a sign that isn't too candy coated but speaks the truth in love. My favorite sign is "look at the ultrasound" - it's not pointing fingers, just gently pointing to truth. Personally, I would react negatively to "Mommy, will it hurt?" I would become defensive and angry.
    BUT, there are people who would probably react better to a sign like that. Someone who maybe believes the lie that "it's not actually a life - just a bunch of cells" might see that sign and are shocked into reality.
    I don't want to say anything dumb here, but maybe this one is geared more towards men? Women are often more sensitive and need more love which is why we react better to the more loving signs.
    I'd love to have more men weigh in on this....

    Also, I like the idea of being the voice of these innocent babies. I would probably chose different words, but we need to stand up for those who are silenced.

  10. Great much to think about and I appreciate this forum to read and learn from you all.

    1. I love the quote about being the 'last line of defense.' What an amazing and important thing to be. How valued you are for being on the front line and really, how brave. You stand in what must be one of the most uncomfortable and vulnerable places. You stand for what is just and everyone needs that. Injustice is a terrible thing. Thank you.

    2. Signs. I don't usually like them. I'm sorry to say that some of them seem, for lack of a better word...trite (lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition). The signs I do like use scripture. Nothing has impact like the Word. It speaks to us like nothing else. It gets inside people and works miracles.
    But, who am I to say anything? I have never made a sign and stood out there. I salute all of you who do. You are heroes in my mind. All words have power. If signs change people's minds then no matter what they say, it is a good thing.

    Fawne, I just love what you wrote, "We are a body and we should each use our gifts to compliment one another. Together, we could see this bloodbath come to an end."

    Thanks Paige, for leading me to this blog.

  11. After reading my response, I feel I should clarify that the word 'trite' was not to imply that these signs don't speak truth. They do. But, I suppose, the purpose of them is...impact. And by that I mean to influence. How can we change people's minds? What is the best way? I think that some signs (not all) lose their impact over time. This doesn't make them less true or meaningful for those holding them but the issue should really be that if the body is to be effective by standing in protest, and signs are part of that protest, they be not what the protesters may want to say but what the people walking into the clinic need to hear to change their minds. Sometimes this is the same thing...and sometimes it isn't. Difficult stuff. Again, all of you standing there have my eternal admiration. (and prayers)

  12. Lesley....that's such a good point and something I've never thought about before. What Scripture do you think would be good to use?? Or what could we say to make them think of something they've never thought about before??

  13. I think what has been pointed out to us here (in Victoria) is that this event is meant not to be a protest...but an outreach and a prayer vigil. So we have been discouraged even from carrying signs other than the official one which is more to give the message to women that there are OTHER choices.(outreach and rescue) It was felt by some here that carrying a sign or especially walking while carrying a sign, looked like a protest rather than an outreach or a prayer vigil. It is nice to have a poster so that the outreach aspect is not invisible...but the prayer side, really doesn't need any signage. It is effective and powerful even without visibility. May He soften all of our hearts and may His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

  14. Actually, there are 3 different aspects to the 40 days for life campaign...
    Firstly, (and most importantly and effectively) there is prayer and fasting. That is the main focus of this blog & of my efforts for this 40 days.
    Secondly, there is constant vigil - (vigil: 1.A period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, esp. to keep watch or pray.
    2.A stationary, peaceful demonstration in support of a particular cause, typically without speeches.)<- (just took that off of an online dictionary).
    Thirdly, there is the community outreach - which might look different in different locations. My friend Fawne would love to go door to door, i like to blog & post on facebook :) Others do flyers or campus outreach.
    Here is a link to take a peek if you're interested.

  15. I found a definition of vigil that I love...a devotional watching.
    Beautiful mental image, no?
    I love that this is how you are approaching it.
    Mamalena and Paige...thanks for clarifying. I love what you are all doing.