What is valuable to you? Where is your treasure? Do you find value in your home, your vehicle, your bank account, your family, your kids, your spouse, your animals, or your job?
I am afraid that the things we value and hold dear are starting to diminish. Sure we treasure our “stuff,” but do we ever give thought to our neighbor or the stranger down the street? Do we value those we don’t even know?
I bring up these questions because there are thousands of pro-life clinics seeking to stand in the gap for neighbors and strangers alike. We want people to see that being valued is not a thing of the past. Value is, instead, alive and well.
We see patients every single day that have lost their way, been rejected, unloved, or devalued by another. Many of them have allowed this reality to become their identity; an identity that is seeing them and their lives spiral out of control.
We see patients that accept abuse as the norm, hate as their lover, and drugs as their savior. The self-righteous will chalk this up to poor decisions and place blame solely on our patients, but the story doesn’t and shouldn’t end there. Yes, many make poor decisions, I am not denying that, but their reality isn’t as simple as we sometimes think it to be.
Many of our patients, certainly not all, have never truly known what being loved feels like. Many have seen their dignity stripped and their value diminished. They were not looked at as a wonderful gift made in the image of the Creator. Instead, they were looked at as a means to an end. This lie must be stopped and truth must penetrate their hearts if we ever hope to see a change.
This is why we at HOPE and pregnancy centers around the country celebrate mentoring. I often discuss the free medical services we provide and the importance and value of ultrasounds. These certainly make a difference, but these alone will not reach the hurt and broken among us. These services, however, coupled with mentoring, will penetrate the hardest of hearts.
Mentoring is a great example of loving your neighbor as strangers seek to stand for strangers. This is how we make a lasting impact on those in need. This is how we seek to change the trajectory and break the cycle of hate and disregard.
How often do you give thought of those in need around you? Does your pro-life stance allow you to love a post-abortive woman or man? Does your pro-life stance allow you to spend time with someone that looks different than you? Does your pro-life stance allow you to care deeply about a stranger?
I pray these questions convict and open up our hearts to the possibilities that are in front of us; possibilities that are endless if we simply agree to stand.
Mentoring another requires a great deal of love and sacrifice from you. Loving people in general is a very difficult and messy experience. You are forced to open up and show vulnerability. Others will learn of your weaknesses and your flaws might be on full display. This is true, but this truth should not keep you firmly planted in your church pew or on your sofa.
We are not seeking perfect humans or rule followers for our mentors. We understand that we all have struggles and some baggage. We know that life is hard and messy. This is why we want you!
Are you at a place in life where you can offer some guidance, love, and perspective to a stranger in need? Are you ready to allow your pro-life stance to motivate you to get off the sofa or church pew and get engaged with a pro-life organization?
We are not perfect. We do not claim that we have the perfect model. We do, however, know fully that when strangers decide that other strangers have value, a difference can be made; a difference in perspective, in actions, and in lives will occur when we decide that all life has value and is worthy of our love.
About the guest blogger: Andrew Wood serves as the Executive Director of Hope Resource Center, a pro-life reproductive health clinic in Knoxville, TN. HOPE opened its doors in 1997 seeking to stand for life as they served the most vulnerable in the Knoxville area. HOPE has been blessed to serve over 20,000 patients during that time.