Sidewalk counseling: are you being called?

As the next 40 Days for Life international prayer campaign approaches at the end of September, I plead with you to consider participating if you have not before. This peaceful campaign has directly impacted hundreds of thousands of people, shut down fourteen abortion facilities, caused 53 clinic workers to leave the industry, saved over 4,300 unborn children and women from abortion, united people of all faiths to stand for the helpless, and changed the face of the pro-life movement forever.

The experience of standing in front of a building where innocent children are killed and women are scarred can be an overwhelming one. We are literally in the midst of the onslaught of the most defenseless among us and the ultimate exploitation of vulnerable women. But if we are not out there to speak for those who have no voice, then who will?

If you have peacefully demonstrated prayer in front of an abortion facility, I commend you for your dedication to loving the unborn and their mothers. Now, I want to challenge you to take your activism to another level: verbal outreach (sidewalk counseling) to those entering the abortion facilities. Take a moment to ponder that one— if you are a person who really cares for women as well as their preborn children, and you truly desire to bring hope to those who may not have it, it could be that you are being called to the sidewalks.  No matter what your age, denomination, or gender, all it takes to sidewalk counsel a woman in need is a  genuine concern for those who may not feel loved, regardless of their circumstances in life.

At times, sidewalk counseling can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. We often face harsh weather and temperatures. We sometimes face hateful and angry people. We face the verbal venom and threats of those who do not understand the gruesome reality of abortion and what it does to both babies and mothers. We face chronic feelings of helplessness with each woman and unborn child that goes into the clinic to be victimized by abortion despite our gentle and loving outreach.

But we have to sacrifice our comfort to help those in need—it is our responsibility to be there for those who need help, and there is hardly anyone more desperate than a pregnant woman who feels she has no other choice but to abort the life within her. When love is demonstrated on the sidewalks in front of facilities where babies are being killed, miracles can and do happen. We are not called to be comfortable or successful. We are called to be faithful. Keep your strength.  I truly believe that even on the most difficult and emotionally grueling days, Jesus is there beside you the entire time and that he suffers for the innocent unborn too.

When we persevere, we will see the miracles that are in store for us. If you continue sidewalk counseling and reaching out to women in a kind and loving way, eventually you will be rewarded and see the fruits of your labor. There is no greater privilege than being used as an instrument of God to save a life, and if you do as you feel you are called, it will happen. But we must stay strong and reach out to those most in need of our help.

For information on all the free resources that are available to women facing a crisis pregnancy, contact your local pregnancy center—they’ll have pamphlets and other information that you can offer to women who are entering abortion facilities and you will be able to better assist these abortion-minded women who need love and compassion.

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