Every January, I usually see the same faces coming to the local and national Marches for Life happening across our country. I long to see more people I don't know participate, even people to whom I live next door. There may be a myriad of reasons why not everyone comes.
There may be a myriad of reasons why not everyone comes. You may think you don't want to attend because that isn't your thing — you are involved in other ministries and the pro-life stand is great, but not your battle.
Or you may not come because you don't think anything is wrong with abortion.
You may not come because you aren't a Christian and you leave that up to the Christians.
But what if?
What if you came just to see what it was like to attend? What if you came just to see what the people were like?
Here are 7 reasons I think everyone should experience the March for Life, whether in Washington, DC or other locations.
1. Come and see for yourself.
I don't know about you, but I tire from just hearing about things. There are rumors and so much confusion that media and culture puts on the pro-life movement. The best way to know about something is to experience it.
You should come once and for all, seeing for yourself what it's like to be at a pro-life gathering. Come and meet the people and ask them why they are there. Their stories and their hearts just might warm yours.
2. Open your eyes.
Most people agree about animal rights or laws that ensure basic land conservation and protection. But somehow, not everyone agrees about the rights of the baby in the womb.
If you haven't heard in person why a pro-life advocate believes the right to be born is the most sacred right of all (and I mean really listened with eyes wide open), then you should. Open your eyes to seeing this perspective for the very first time. Speakers at pro-life gatherings and marches explain in their own personal stories why every human life — before or after birth — is irreplaceable.
3. Act on compassion.
Your attending can be an act of compassion. You may not think of it that way, but it is. Attending a pro-life gathering is seen as an act of compassion for those that are defenseless against their choice to live.
You are gathering on their behalf and Heaven sees you there. You are having compassion for life and taking an action step of being there to participate and listen about the next steps to help the unborn.
4. Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves.
You have a life and you have a voice. But there are those who cannot be heard yet. We carry authority to speak up for the ones who can't speak.
A lot of people are afraid to take a side on any cause — not wanting to offend or seem radical. Is it so radical to stand up for a defenseless baby? Is it so radical to adopt? Is it so radical to be a foster parent? Is it so radical to pray for Life?
The world will say, "That's a personal matter; it's up to the mom or dad." And it is personal; it's personal to that tiny human who has no voice or say-so for their own life. Our job is to make sure the world knows their lives do matter — that we defend their cause, the cause of the defenseless.
5. Learn something new.
I've been praying for Life since I was 7 years old. I've been to countless gatherings, marches and conferences in my life. But after each one, I come away learning something new, something fresh that inspires me.
Who doesn't want to be inspired?
I always want to push myself to see things better, to listen more and take in the stories. I hear stories of abortion survivors and I'm in awe that they lived. I'm in awe of the passion and voice they bring to the world. I hear personal accounts of moms and dads who aborted their babies and I grieve with them as they cry retelling their journey.
I hear stories about families who changed their minds and now they can't imagine their life without their child. Every story is different in its own situation — but I learn. I learn from their stories and I walk away different every single time.
6. Learn to pray.
In my experience, I've learned how to really let go of distractions, let go of the world around me and talk to Jesus with the most humility when I am praying for life. When life and death are on the line, and God says you have a say so in it — you learn to get on your knees and pray with everything in your body.
At a March for Life when you are hearing the speakers and their firsthand accounts, your response flows most genuinely out of prayer. I seriously credit the growth of my prayer life to the times I was praying for innocent life before God. The greatest part of the March for Life is when we silently march and pray around the city. There is a presence of peace and of hope that comes as you pray.
7. Be a difference maker.
Every morning, my mom and dad would drop us off at school and say this phrase to my sisters and me: "Be a difference maker."
And now, I say it to our foster son each time I drop him off. I want to empower everyone I know that they, too, are a difference maker.
You can make a difference for good every single day if you want to — it's the doing that makes it true. So I ask you, what more of a difference can you make than saving a life?
Today, 125,000 babies worldwide will die in an abortion. That means that in a single year, the world count of babies dying from abortion is 40-50 million abortions. Come to a pro-life march and learn how you can be a part of making that number smaller.
There are so many first steps you can take for the ending of these innocent deaths. Let gathering with people who've experienced it and their stories — beautiful and heartbreaking — be your first experience toward making a difference for life.
John Maxwell says, "Success is all about me, but significance is about other people. Valuing people, believing in people, and unconditionally loving them is the key to significance."
Want to lead a life of significance? Be a difference maker in other people's lives. I ask you to think of the people most at risk: the baby in the womb. Be a difference maker for them and their children and their children's children.