Last week I attended a Pro-Life/Pro-Women’s Conference with great anticipation. I was excited to gather with other like-minded women from across the nation (and countries) to learn new ways to defend life. As one of the sponsors, we were able to connect with decision makers and other ministries on best practices. In my mind’s view I had the weekend tied up in a nice little pro-life gift box. It was anything but.
Expected attendance was 500. From the number of hands I shook, I think it was close to 1,000 (my arm is still sore). Little old me just thought I was walking into a conference where everyone was alike, but that wasn’t the case at all. Attendance was diverse with pro-life organizations representing every facet of life advocacy: evangelicals, catholics, students, professors, doctors, humanists, feminists, new wave feminists, former abortion workers, LGBT, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, pagans, and more that I didn’t have a chance to meet. Through our differences, we all realized we were there to achieve the same goal and purpose — meeting on common ground to stand up and protect LIFE.
As people stopped by our table, we engaged in conversation about their ministries and perspectives. As is always the case, life stories were shared. I heard stories of abuse growing up. I heard stories how often people pass judgment on those who aren’t the same as they are. I heard stories how the church had hurt them, turning them off to anything spiritual. After listening to each story, we were able to share our stories of God’s redeeming love. This may not have happened if we had not first been brought together for a common purpose.
After the conference, in the solitude of home (and couch), I began to realize something important. How many times do we (Church) push others away with condemning tones to those who aren’t like us? That initial conversation may never have gotten started until we first meet on common ground.
I’d love to hear what you think.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.: