By Dave Andrusko
For the last 23 or so years, I’ve led a Sunday morning class that is as stimulating as anything I’ve ever been a part of. Yesterday we talked about “influencers”—who have been the most important people in shaping our worldview ? Whom, I asked (to slightly paraphrase Tim Keller), has assisted you to find meaning, freedom, satisfaction, identity, and a moral compass?
To switch to our specific context, we might ask, who have been the most influential educators on the abortion issue? No, obviously it’s not the pro-abortion media behemoths who evangelize by promoting (to quote Keller) the kind of unspoken, taken-for-granted “background beliefs” that elevate “choice” to an absolute and utterly devalue the humanity of the unborn child.
For us the answer is grassroots pro-lifers all around this great nation. They–You–are the most influential educators.
To be sure, there are many prominent pro-lifers who do important work that may be more visible—and bless them for that. But the day-to-day labor that have built this great human rights Movement is done by you in your local communities.
Yet you do not get nearly the credit you deserve for bringing new converts into the cause of life. And what a great irony. Contrary to every misandrous observation of pro-abortion “feminists,” the leadership, locally and nationally, of our Movement is overwhelmingly female.
With that in mind, consider how we might apply the lessons of “The Invisible Woman.”
In this 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 one who is privileged to assemble the NRL News Today posts), there are two primary applications. Using the skills God gave me, 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.
How blessed it that?!
But I am hardly “invisible.” A lot of people receive what I compose and edit Monday through Saturday at National Right to Life News Today and many others run across it searching for information on abortion. That is on top of the ever-growing number who read our monthly edition of National Right to Life News on line.(By the way, you can sign up to receive both at www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/join-the-email-list.)
Pro-lifers write me every day at firstname.lastname@example.org to say overly kind things. However I never, ever forget that whatever influence I may have, it has strictly and entirely because of you.
Put another way, 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 told her audience that she 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 up our Movement–-and what you are building.
Your day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out sacrifices on behalf of the unborn babies you most likely will never see are helping to erect a vibrant, ever-growing, and, in the end, unstoppable force for good—a pro-life “Cathedral.”
No right-to-lifer I’ve ever met expects credit for her or his selflessness. You toil faithfully–-even though it is the nature of what you are building that, right now, you cannot see “what it will become.” Why? 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—which you shouldn’t be–what matters is that your life-affirming work is seen by the One who matters, the Architect of Life.
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.”