Pray, love and do the best you can
Pro-life: a cause I had always kept in my heart, but never on my lips – that is until my summer internship at Campaign Life Coalition began. My increased desire to be active in the pro-life movement should undoubtedly be attributed to my friends. Seeing their passion and poise inspired me to be involved in the pro-life movement too. My enthusiasm for it was already fully developed, but the same could not be said about my reasoning and my ability to articulate my thoughts. Before applying for the internship, I was at a point in my life where my heart had become restless on the issue, and these feelings I had needed to be acted upon. As Jim Hughes, President of Campaign Life Coalition, would remind us: “they say all we can do is pray, but actually the most important thing we can do is pray, then we go out and do the best we can.” This resonated with me; one sentence that embodies so much truth, especially in regards to the pro-life movement. I felt that I was living out the second part of that statement “go out and do the best we can.” Through my simple “yes” to accepting the internship at Canada’s largest pro-life organization, I am being equipped daily to “do the best” that I can for the pro-life movement on a local and national platform.
I was astounded by how much I was learning given that it has only been five weeks, but there was so much I was not aware of in the political realm of abortion in Canada. It is not a surprise as to why they say that “knowledge is power”, especially on the topic of abortion – as a Canadian citizen, it's a must! There is a visible need for change, for us all to stand in solidarity to end abortion. It is no coincidence that “coalition” is in the name Campaign Life Coalition; we must be united if truth is to win. Witnessing firsthand how devoted everyone in the movement is and to be a part of CLC’s steadfast work towards ending abortion has been so fulfilling, and has opened my eyes to the pro-lifer’s aforementioned need to be active in the movement. Now more than ever, there is an urgency for all of us to be active in the pro-life movement, in whichever way suits your skills and interests.
The street activism has been one aspect of the internship that has impacted me the most. Whether praying in front of Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic or participating in choice chain on the streets of Toronto alongside my peers, we are at the frontlines in the fight to end the killing of the unborn. The beautiful thing about doing street activism is that I always walk away with a new and insightful experience. The people I encounter on the street and the conversations they have with me often leaves me mystified; maybe it was a question that caught me off guard, or someone giving affirming replies, or others who open their confused heart on the issue, or contending with the all too common “what if” scenarios. Each person I encounter is a gift, a chance to go deeper in conversation and accompany them in recognizing the truth. Admittedly it was hard at first, but no one said the fight to end abortion was going to be an easy one. Each person is unique, I never know how they will react or respond. All I can do is look at them with a gaze of love, the same one that I desire to be looked upon with. If there is one certainty I have learned from doing street activism during the past six weeks at CLC, it is that I am no different or more valuable than the pre-born child. We all desire safety, nourishment and, above all, love. Though some of us may not have a beating heart, that does not make us less of a human – a person who is valuable and vulnerable. Life is beautiful! So beautiful, in fact, that the worth and preciousness of life does not diminish based on gender, ability, consciousness, or stage in development. Nor do the circumstances we are born into, or the places we come from, reduce or limit our dignity and right to life! Everyone comes from a different experience, everyone has a story, and collectively this all adds to the beauty and diversity and essence that life has to offer. Life is recognized from conception to natural death, or as some would say “from the womb to the tomb.” This is precisely why the pro-life movement continues to strive forward in doing the “best we can” for protecting human life, all the while keeping prayer at the core of our mission.