By Dave Andrusko
NRL News Today is carrying three stories related to the twelfth anniversary of 9/11: this original post and two others we have run in years pass. (Be SURE to read Jean Garton’s “Harboring Little Nuggets of Life and Love.”)
I don’t know how often this has been the case in the past, but there’s been a strong emphasis in 2013 on making today a kind of National Day of Service. The examples I have read of “giving back” are very inspirational—a lot of helping out of veterans, the homeless, impoverished schools, and those with disabilities. It didn’t seem as if the volunteers knew very many, if any, of these people personally: they helped out because they could and because the recipients could use a helping hand.
On a much smaller scale something like that was done for me this morning.
I only slept a few hours last night and when I left the gas station I was running on fumes.
A lady politely honked her horn (in the back of my mind at that instant I vaguely remembered having heard a voice), and we rolled down our windows.
She told me in the nicest possible way that the cap for my gas tank was perched precariously on the trunk and that the door to the tank had been left open. I sheepishly expressed my gratitude and she responded with a smile and a “Pass it on.”
I took that to mean the same as “pay it forward”— having been the recipient of an act of kindness, I should pass along a kindness to someone else, typically (as I was to her) a stranger.
You know where I’m going with this, of course. There have been countless people in our Movement who have been blessed by the kindness of strangers who quickly became supporters and often friends.
Some—actually many—are women who were helped when they were at the end of their rope. They continued their pregnancies because (and only because) someone like the readers of this story offered a supportive arm and a willing heart. Untold numbers of people are alive today because of what was done for these women (and girls) who were convinced their only “choice” was death for their child.
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Others are women who succumbed to what could only have seemed like all-consuming pressure, like the kind you experience as you go deeper and deeper in the ocean, the kind that you “know” will crush you. In the months and years to come, many will experience aftershocks—physical, emotional, psychological, and relational. That’s where you come in, offering a non-judgmental hand of support and consolation.
But it’s not only women who have been thrown into the throes of a crisis pregnancy who have benefitted. Equip a pastor with what he or she needs to deliver a life-affirming message to their congregation. In helping to inform the congregants, you’ve passed it on.
When you help cut through the fog to make sure voters know who is on the side of the babies and who isn’t, you’ve passed it on.
When you financially help National Right to Life fight the good fight, you’ve passed it on.
Many, many times you may not even realize how you’ve passed it on. But if you’ve developed the habit, you will know that seeds have been planted.
But it works in both directions. Pro-lifers are on the receiving end of many blessings.
Go to any NRLC National Convention or a pro-life booth at a county or state fair and you come back with a powerful reminder of many of us there are—and all working for the same noble goal. We’ve passed it on to one another.
Speaking personally, I don’t know how many times someone has written thanking me for something we posted that was “just what I needed” at that moment.
Of course, what I received in return—assurance that what we are doing is making a real-world difference—was far more than I had given.
As often as you can, consciously commit yourself to one task, however small, that will promote the Culture of Life. You may not see the harvest but the one who matters always does.