It’s an unassuming building on a quiet street; squat and red-bricked, with a short, neat lawn, and an American flag flapping in the mild breeze of an already humid Florida morning. Periodically, cars pulled into the driveway on the right and eased past the cluster of people on its edge. These people standing to the side held hope in their hands, arms extended; some cars stopped and took the information, others didn’t. After parking in the back, men and women walked in twos and threes to the front entrance, hugging the walls. The men often tossed a smirk—perhaps a mocking quip—at the vigil-keepers. The women mostly kept their heads down.
The day before four women had left the building for good. Four little children were pulled from the brink of death and their mothers grabbed onto offered hope with both hands.
This day it was too late to turn back. Most of the women who shuffled quietly inside carried little corpses in their wombs. Yesterday, a shot had stopped their baby’s hearts. Now, they needed to dispose of the bodies.
Though the day was clear and sunny, the hymns we sang from the sidewalk felt more like a dirge. Though we could still offer help to women in pain, the children were beyond our grasp, and it was hard to keep from feeling hopeless. Faced with such darkness and tragedy, it’s hard to know how to respond, what to say, or even what to think.
After a few hours we returned to the campus where we had set up our display. The difference was startling: from a building of death to a campus bursting with life.
There are times to wallow, times to sit back and let the full weight of abortion hit you; to feel the knowledge of each death like a gouge in your heart. While at the clinic it can seem too much to bear. Too much pain. Too much darkness.
Back at our display, though, even with the images of abortion so large and stark and unavoidable, there is light and hope. Students streamed by in the thousands; during class breaks, you can watch as nearly every face turns to take in the images as they walk by.
Our volunteers fanned out and drew students in to conversations. More often than not, as soon as they finished, they walked to the back of the display to write down a testimony. Someone who had never thought about abortion before and was now pro-life. Someone who went from being staunchly pro-choice to admitting they had some serious thinking to do. Someone who thought certain situations necessitated abortion and left realizing that no circumstance ever justifies killing an innocent human being.
Testimony after testimony. Over and over. Before our eyes, campuses became more pro-life.
We don’t ignore the darkness or try to shove it out of sight, we let it motivate us. We let it push us out of our comfort zones and to the places we need to be most: on the campuses, on the streets, exposing abortion for the horror it is in the public square.
Darkness loses its power when brought into the light, and nice-sounding pro-choice rhetoric loses more power every single day that we show the world what abortion truly is.