A young black woman with a couple of piercings on her lip and nose walked by our Genocide Awareness Project as we were getting our second day started at Kennesaw State U. She was shaking her head with disgust. Our graphic abortion and other genocide images are revolting. I tried to make eye contact with her and engage in conversation, but she would not acknowledge me. Later in the day, I would see this young woman holding a sign and protesting our display of graphic abortion images. Towards the end of the day, I talked with my friend, Perry, as this young woman again walked around the display, sign in hand. This time I called out to her and said, "You can talk to us, you know? What are you thinking?" She accepted my offer to listen. She mentioned how she thought the pictures were horrible, and she was concerned for women who have already had abortions being "triggered" by them. She also suggested scenarios where abortion should be considered the best option: "What if the parents aren't good people and aren't ready to be parents?" Perry immediately jumped in: "My Dad was not ready to be a parent. He was not a good dad! But I am alive because he conceived me." Then the woman said, "Well, what if both parents are drug addicts and the baby will suffer from their addictions?" Perry again responded: "My adopted son's parents were drug addicts, but he is a perfectly healthy baby, and we love him." I then explained to this young woman that we agree that the pictures are horrible. We show these pictures to women because nobody has told them the truth about abortion. Abortionists say that the woman's baby "is just a clump of cells." Many women have abortions without ever seeing pictures of a child's development in the womb. "Nobody is telling them the truth," I said, "which is why we are out here. We want women to know what an abortion is before finding out too late. I then assured her that forgiveness and healing are available through Jesus for anyone who has already made that mistake.
This young lady, who began the day and conversation with so much anger, now had an entirely different demeanor. She thanked us for the exchange and said that she expected us to be angry and yell like some other folks on campus. She was not used to grace and compassion. As she was getting ready to leave for her class, I offered to pray for her on the spot. She accepted. She then went, giving her sign to one of her friends and walking off. I can't say for sure, but I believe she cried as she walked to her class.
Grace, truth, and kindness change people. Perry and I agreed that God had won a great victory for truth and reconciliation in the brief encounter.
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