"...Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out." Colossians 4:5-6, MSG "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction." -Proverbs 13:3, NKJV
Today, I Marched in Selma
Thousands gathered today, led by incredible leaders like Dr. Alveda King (MLK's niece), in Selma where they marched along the Edmund Pettus bridge. And I was there. I was there in spirit, I was there in prayer, and I was there in heart. In fact, I couldn't sleep last night. I talked Philip's ear off as he drifted to sleep. I told him things like, "Babe, we have some amazing, incredible, God-fearing leaders like Dr. King and Dr. Ben Carson who are fighting both spiritually and literally to get this nation back to 'One Nation Under God'. Is anyone listening? How does the Selma Project, the silent march today have hardly any news coverage? Why is division occurring like wildfire? Why are influential leaders who claim Christ asking us to literally condemn—to go against everything Jesus taught, died, and rose from the dead for? How is it legal for millions of innocent lives (including many mothers' lives) to be taken, to be slaughtered? What is happening?" And then I wept...
My heart can barely handle it these days. The days are evil, very evil. And God...well God has given me an intense spiritual push. There is much work to be done my sweet child, I hear Him whisper. But before you speak life, you must first hear life...
Hear life, God? I didn't understand. I sought scripture and like always, it came to life. Taming the tongue is one of life's most difficult struggles. We all want to be heard, oh how we all want to be heard. But do we want to listen? Do I want to listen? As the well-known saying goes, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.
When I think back on the handful of women who have been put in my path who were either facing the decision of abortion or had just experienced abortion, I recall the most effective tool, comfort, and encouragement I was led in, and that was the power of listening. Simply listening...simply hearing their stories, their hurts, their worries, their hopes, their fears, and so forth made all the difference. Hearing them out usually led to LIFE.
I have been asked many times by fellow believers, how do I talk to someone who is pro-choice? How do I help a friend who is considering abortion? How? I've come to the conclusion that the answer is to hear them.
Simply listen and ask for that person to share about their lives and their families. Ask questions about the things they have overcome in life. Ask them about the gratitude they have for life. Ask them about those they know who are struggling to conceive. Ask them about any friends they have who might be adopted. Ask them about their beliefs, morals, values. Ask them about the future...
The conversation will lead to life. Why? Because it is about life.
I have never been successful in any conversation where I spat scripture, yelled, got emotional, quoted politicians or the like. Never. If any ounce of condemnation towards their choice was perceived, I was immediately shut off. I've made many mistakes in this area, many I have learned from.
Only love and listening can lead someone to choose life.
Oh Nation, Let Us Hear
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." -2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV
God gave us the answer right here, right in 2 Chronicles. IF my people, who are called. In other words, if we listen. We first must listen to His calling, then the rest can and will follow.
Today, I was in Selma. I marched alongside Dr. King, Catherine Davis, Charmaine Yoest, and thousands of pro-life individuals. Today, I was educated on the atrocious numbers of black lives that are taken through abortion, the countless number of black women who die due to botched abortions, and the many other gut-wrenching facts coming to light due to the vital work these women and organizations do. I've learned so much. There is much to be done and I stand with you all. I stand for life with you.