Building Pro-Life “Cathedrals”

By Dave Andrusko

Late one night at the office finishing up some last minute work, I got a call from an old friend. It was a delightful opportunity to share thoughts about family and friends and professions.

In terms of dollars and cents, he is a far richer man than I am. But you would never suspect it from our conversation or the way he has always carried himself.

He is as down-home and unpretentious as they come. An affirming, gregarious man, he makes you feel better just by being around him, even if it’s only by phone.

We had not talked in years, and the reason this conversation took place was because he had run across something I’d written on the Internet. He was gracious to a fault, but his kind words were very nice to hear. We ended up promising to keep in touch.

The very next day another friend of nearly 30 years forwarded a link to a You Tube video. She impishly said it was for my wife, but that I could watch it, too. It’s titled “The Invisible Woman,” and you can watch it www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YU0aNAHXP0.

In the six-minute video taken from a speech at a women’s conference, Nicole Johnson gently reminds us of something that we know but often forget: that the contributions of mothers are so easily overlooked. Moms can become, in Mrs. Johnson’s word, “invisible.”

For our purposes as pro-lifers (and for me, as the writer of this blog), there are two primary applications. I get paid to do something that–were I able to–I’d do for free: work with members of the greatest Movement for social justice of our time using the skills that God gave me. How blessed it that?!

But I am hardly “invisible.” A lot of people receive what I compose Monday through Friday at National Right to Life News Today and many others run across it searching for information on abortion. Pro-lifers write me every day to say overly kind things.

However I never, ever forget that what I do has whatever influence it has strictly and entirely because of you. National Right to Life News Today and National Right to Life News make a difference to the extent that they help equip you, grassroots America, to do the kind of out-of-the-spotlight work that is gradually changing the culture of America.

And that, of course, applies not just to my small piece of the pie, but to all the departments at National Right to Life. Make no mistake, you are the engine that drives this Movement.

Mrs. Johnson’s other application to us as pro-lifers is her use of the imagery of a cathedral. She tells the story of a friend who had returned from a trip abroad and gave her a book about the great Cathedrals of Europe.

Mrs. Johnson said that in the days that followed she would “devour” the book. From it she drew “four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work.” They are,

·         No one can say who built the great cathedrals — we have no record of their names.

·         These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

·         They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

·         The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything

Mrs. Johnson came to appreciate that she was building a strong, loving family–a “Cathedral”–that would not be finished in her lifetime. I will never forget what she said: “You can’t see right now what it will become.”

I find an exact parallel in you–the people who make our Movement–and what you are building.

Your day in and day out, year in and year out sacrifices are helping to erect a vibrant, ever-growing, and, in the end, unstoppable force for good—a pro-life “Cathedral,” if you will.

No right-to-lifer that I have met expected credit for his or her selflessness. You toil in the vineyards faithfully–even though it is the nature of what you are building that, right now, you cannot see “what it will become”–because laboring on behalf of unborn babies and their mothers is the right thing to do.

And whether you are publicly acclaimed–as you should be–or overlooked, what matters is that your life-affirming work is seen by the One who matters.

Let me end with the last paragraph of an excerpt from a small book Mrs. Johnson wrote, “The Invisible Woman.” Since our Movement is comprised largely of women, substituting “right-to-lifers” for “mothers” seems only right.

“As right-to-lifers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible right-to-lifers.”

Your feedback is vital. Please send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha

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