There is a particular neighbourhood in Calgary that I think about quite often. It’s just an ordinary neighborhood filled with ordinary people, but it reminds me of four things.
The first has to do with something one of the volunteers, who lived in the area, said when he and I started door knocking there. “We’re going to have an easy time, this neighbourhood is mostly pro-life.” By the end of that first shift, he’d discovered that the people who lived on this street weren’t quite as pro-life as he had initially thought. He has since told me it made him wonder how often we, as pro-lifers, assume those around us are pro-life too when they aren’t (or at least aren’t all).
The second thing this street reminds me of is the intrinsic value of each and every human life. Value which doesn’t vanish in difficulty and hardship, but rather should be fought for and protected. It wasn’t long into one of our shifts here that we met a kind, old lady who was watering her garden. When she heard what we were doing and why, she shared that she’d arrived in this world as a tiny two pound baby in the middle of a war zone. Her family faced every difficulty and inconvenience and kept that little baby alive by heating rocks to warm her. I may never have the opportunity to meet her again, but I’m glad she’s alive and I’m glad our paths got to cross.
This neighborhood simultaneously reminds me of just how much abortion has stolen from us. Because I know that a four-year-old should live at the house with the blue door, a seven year old should be helping her siblings with the chalk drawing on the corner driveway, and there should be a two year old child visiting his grandparents who live across the street. Children are missing and this neighborhood is just one of the places they are missing from.
Last week, this neighbourhood made me think yet again when, due to a mistake in directions, some of the volunteers accidentally re-knocked on houses we had already been to. That ‘mistake’ showed us that the person who we’d marked down as “got them thinking” after our conversation a month ago is now fully pro-life and the lady who “become more pro-life but not fully” when we talked to her before wants to continue the conversation!
This was a full summer. I’ve had in-person conversations with numerous people in three different cities and talked with others online. I’ve discussed abortion with Pro-Lifers, Pro-Choicers, and people who had never even thought about this issue before. I’ve listened to the conversations of volunteers, interns and my fellow staff members. I can’t remember the details of every conversation, but the conversations I’ve had on this street remind me of the need that I once didn’t realize was there.
The people who live here have reminded me that all of us, even those born at two pounds and including those who have not yet been born, are valuable human beings. Some of whom, because of abortion, are missing. Some of whom, because of abortion, are dead.
It’s a hard but true reality. One we need to face and fight.
But we should also be reminded that we can make a difference. Sharing the truth about abortion with those around us and taking the time to discuss the controversy of this topic can have an impact more effective than we may ever realize. It can cause minds to change and lives to be saved.