Ignoring the Need: Some Observations

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About three and a half months ago I made a career move that has pretty much rocked my world. I transitioned from the role of Client Services Director at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center into the role of Novice Stay at Home Mom. (Read “from job with structure to job with no structure”). Trust me, as a woman who loves structure… nay, THRIVES on structure… this was an earth-shaking move.

Recognizing the Need

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go back to GPCC to help out in the absence of the current Client Services Director while she was on vacation. Here are 3 things I learned and/or was reminded of while returning temporarily to the Care Center.

  1. Beware the mommy voice.  When you spend most of your days talking to a babbling 3 month old, you suddenly realize how difficult it can be to switch over to regular adult-talk. You also realize how difficult it can be to stop talking in the third person. (“Mary’s going to go do some data entry right now, ok? Mary sure is thankful for her volunteers, yes she is!”) While my son appreciates and delights in my unadulterated enthusiasm over every single thing he does (“What a good poop! Who’s my little pooper?”), I’ve discovered that this same measure of enthusiasm may in fact make some adults a bit uncomfortable (“Look at you! Somebody is just the best little receptionist I’ve ever seen! Yes you are!”). For anyone who endured my newfound mommy voice last week, consider this my apology.
  1. Volunteers are the most valuable assets to a pregnancy resource center. Last week I had the joy of spending time with familiar faces as well as brand new volunteers at GPCC, and I was reminded of how priceless each one of them is. Seriously, these volunteers are gifted. These women are compassionate, loving, and understanding. They are great listeners, detailed workers, eager learners, and prayerful advocates. They are not perfect, but they allow God to use them where they are; and believe me, God most definitely uses them. If you were to remove our volunteers, the Care Center would without question have to shut down. What a testament to God’s provision for the Center: that he uses women and men who graciously give their free time in order to serve Greensboro!
  1. Women and men find themselves in crisis situations every day, whether I acknowledge it or not. My life has been a whirlwind the past few months. I have continued praying for the Care Center, but obviously have not been there as often as before; I went from spending 40+ hours there each week to only a few hours here and there since February. I’ll be honest, I’ve spent more time lately thinking about poop textures, nap times, and ways to treat baby eczema than I have about women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies. Sharing the truth about abortion has not been at the top of my priority list. I think having a baby is a pretty good excuse for this. But here’s why I bring it up: simply not thinking about a problem doesn’t make the problem magically disappear. And claiming ignorance or crying “I’m too busy” does not excuse us from doing what we know to be right.

Some will read that previous sentence and immediately feel defensive. “Here we go,” you might be thinking, “Another attempt to guilt me into doing or giving or committing to something for which I have no time.”

But please allow me to explain.

Experiencing the Need

In the few hours I spent at the Care Center last week, I met women who had been abandoned, hurt, and ignored. I met women who felt trapped and backed into a corner. And I met women who said with determination that they were going to abort their child and that was that.

I know these things to be true because I was there and I saw it. But you know what? Those things would still be true for those women even if I hadn’t been there. On the days that I am staying home and trying to convince my 3-month-old to nap longer than twenty-five minutes at a time, women are hurting. On the days I am running loads of laundry and washing a sink full of dishes, women are desperate.

My days now look much different than they used to, but the fact that I am no longer working full-time within the context of the Care Center does not change the reality that women and men are facing monumental, life-changing decisions every day. It would be easy for me to use my new vocation as an excuse to no longer engage these needs, but a heavy weight rests on my heart and, quite frankly, I don’t think I could ignore this issue even if I tried.

Edmund Burke once said this: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I firmly believe that many evils in this world could be effectively silenced if only men and women would speak out and act rather than remain stagnant in passivity.

Christian Scripture speaks to this as well. Proverbs 24:11-12 says, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”

This scripture not only calls us to stand up for others, but also states that we will have to answer one day for what we have and have not done. This scripture has been extremely impactful in my own life, because it tells me that claiming ignorance—or claiming that I’m too busy—does not excuse me from speaking for the weak. We see many places throughout the Bible that talk about sins of omission and how we will have to give an account for every word and every action, even if that action is that we did nothing or remained silent on an issue.

When it comes to the value of life—both born and unborn—neutrality is not an option for the follower of Christ. My heart’s desire is that the body of Christ (the Church) would be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to valuing all human life, and that our hearts would be burdened for the women and men who are faced with these difficult decisions everyday.

Meeting the Need

So am I saying that you should add volunteering at the Care Center to what might already be an over-committed schedule? Am I trying to guilt you into giving money? Am I devaluing your current vocation?

I would answer all those questions with a resounding, “No.”

I’m simply asking you to acknowledge that unplanned pregnancy is a life-changing event. Acknowledge that lives are lost to abortion every day. Acknowledge that people in Greensboro are hurting and need God’s love through Jesus Christ.

And then I’m asking you to do something about it.

Whether praying, further educating yourself, volunteering, giving, or simply reaching out to minister to someone in your sphere of influence, do something.

Ignoring a problem doesn’t make the problem magically disappear. It just means that you have made the decision to not be a part of the solution to the problem.

Gandhi spoke the well-known words, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Wherever you are, whatever you do, acknowledge the truth and refuse to be silent.

To find out more about how the Care Center serves Greensboro, visit gsocarecenter.wpengine.com or call 336-274-4881.

 

Mary Holloman is a former Client Services Director at the Care Center. She loves being involved in the lives of clients and volunteers, but she also loves being a wife and mom at home. You can follow Mary on her blog: marycthomas.wordpress.com.

 

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