By Lauren Handy, Campus Outreach Team
Life as an activist can be fast-paced, unexpected and most days, visibly rewarding. But this day? Not so much. We arrived at Orange Coast College ready to jump in and start. Yet to our surprise the campus was practically empty. Nothing is more discouraging than spending a day at a college that bears no fruit. You could see the mood of the college start to affect the team also. As each person passed, the apathy surrounded us closer. I learned that in the those lull of times I become most discouraged.
When I began to realize this, a surge of people flooded the campus. I was handing out literature left and right. Going over to the box to pick up more of our information handouts, then walking back, I met a student in a blue shirt. He stood over me, looking down, with determined expression in his eyes. He had clearly come over to challenge me. I responded with an open expression and asked if he wanted the handout. Of course, never knowing what a person’s response could be, I was prepared for anything. Puffing out his chest a bit, he responded that he didn’t need the literature because his opinion was already formed and nothing would change that.
When I heard that, I accepted the challenge.
We went back and forth for a couple of minutes and as the time passed he became more willing to listen. We found common ground at the fact of the humanity of the pre-born. Then suddenly he closed-off. I wasn’t surprised because most people are unwilling to accept or admit that the truth was starting to change them. We both took a step from each other and he was back to his previous demeanor. To put it bluntly he told me, “Let me get this straight. You are against the killing of humans. I am against telling people what to do.” His clarifying statement was actually an ultimatum. I knew my answer would end our conversation so I stood my ground and simply said "yes".
We cannot make compromises when it comes to abortion. There can be no “what-ifs” when the outcome is the death of a child in the womb. We have to be unashamedly anti-abortion to build a strong foundation for when a person throws everything at us.
I do not know if I changed the man in the blue shirt’s views but I do know that as the man was walking away he was tucking a piece of literature in his binder. The crowd continued to flow into the quad and I was renewed in energy because I knew seeds were planted and a foot was in the door.
Even though the day was hot and seemed to stretch longer than possible, that pivotal conversation made me realize something new the life of a pro-life activist. I learned that there will be days of hard work, frustratingly slow crowds, and patience-consuming students. Getting up and pushing through is so very important because our presence does chip away at this Culture of Death. This, even the slow days, is how we will overturn Roe v. Wade: by being witnesses, and changing hearts and minds. It was very humbling. But it was also rewarding.
I may never know if that man’s life was changed after visiting the college. Regardless I have confidence my work bears fruit, even in the scorching heat.