“Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”
This famous statement attributed to St. Francis of Assisi reminds us of a basic principal of teaching and influenceing others. People understand a message more when more than hearing it, they see it lived out before them in the life and example of the speaker.
Today is the annual “Day of Silent Solidarity”. Students on campuses around the world have taken a pledge to remain silent for one day – to stand in solidarity with those who will never have the opportunity to use their voice – those who have been silenced forever by the horror of abortion.
Many of them are wearing across their mouth a piece of red duct tape with the word “Life” written on it. Others are wearing a red arm band or badge imprinted with “Life”. They will remain silent – even through classes, lunch, sports, band and choir practice.
Some of those students are at schools right here in the Greater Columbus Region, including Capital University, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Fairfield Career Center, Fairfield High School, Ohio Dominican University, Ohio State University, Pickerington High School North, and St. Charles Preparatory School.
I’m proud of these students. They’re taking a bold stand for life. They will probably be mocked and ridiculed for doing something so “silly” as to cover their mouths with and be silent for a day. They will be tempted to give in, to give up. There will be no “fitting in” today; these students will stand out like a fresh rose in a bouquet of dried flowers, and it will be difficult.
Following is an article written by Bryan Kemper, president of Stand True and founder of the Day of Silent Solidarity. He explains how this global movement of one day of silence began. In it he challenges us to not “cower in the face of adversity”. How easy it is to fold under the pressure of adversity! But as we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (NIV)
Please pray for these students today. Pray that they will be able to withstand the temptation and the pressure to give up part-way through. Pray that their witness will have an impact on their fellow classmates as well as the faculty and staff.
And join them. Today at 4:00 some of these students will gather at the site of our 40 Days for Life campaign to stand in silence as hundreds of cars go by. They will have written materials to give to pedestrians who pass by. They will pray. They will preach the gospel of life – without using a single spoken word.
Out 40 Days for Life Campaign site is on the sidewalk in front of Complete HealthCare for Women, 5888 Cleveland Ave. Parkingis available at St. John Chrysostom Bysantine Catholic Church, 5858 Cleveland Ave.,
Share the Vision
In the spring of 2004, a student from McNeese State University asked me, “What can I do to work with other students around the country, in solidarity, to help end abortion?”
I hear things like that all the time from the students I speak to. “What can I do? I have ideas, but I don’t know what to do with them. Can I really make a difference? I’m just one person.”
When this student asked me, a spark went off in my head.
I replied, “What if we got students to not only act in solidarity with others, but also with the children that are dying every day?” As soon as I said it, I knew God had set something in motion inside of me.
At the time, I was one person working from the basement of my home with a computer, a web site, and a small e-mail list that I had been collecting for a few months. I wasn't really sure what could be accomplished with that, but I offered it to God and started sending out emails.
Now, something that started its first year as just a few thousand students from 300 campuses has grown into a world-wide outpouring of love and action. The Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity is in its 6th year, and last year we had students from more than 4,800 campuses in 25 countries stand together in solidarity. We have heard of hundreds of girls who have cancelled abortions because of this day every year.
Hearts are being changed, babies are being saved, and women are being spared the trauma of post-abortive pain. People are coming together in unity to promote a culture of life. Personhood is being restored on campuses across the nation.
I really cannot take any credit for the success of this movement. It is only God who grants us the power to do this. I was one person who listened to God and, through Him, acted on the vision He gave me.
If you have an idea, a vision or dream, don’t be afraid to stand up and let your voice be heard. Don’t doubt what you can accomplish with Christ. Don’t think that because you are just one person you can’t make a difference.
“I have a dream”–a statement powerfully spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and yet so much more than just words. He did not r in the face of adversity. He spoke those words with passion and conviction. He challenged the world to stand up for the rights and equality of all men.
I, too, have a dream. I, too, will not cower in the face of adversity. I believe that, through Christ, we can restore personhood to the most innocent of our brothers and sisters: the children in the womb.
Today, 4000 of my generation will be silenced.
Today 4000 of my brothers and sisters lives will be ended simply because of their age.
Today, I will stand up and share my dream, my idea, and my vision with the world.
Will you stand with me?
For Christ I stand,