If you'd have told me 13 years ago that today I would spend part of St. Patty's Day praying to end abortion outside of a abortion clinic, I would have laughed at you.
Despite the massacres that were being carried out inside avocado green building today (Lord have mercy), it was a particularly good prayer day. There were more than a dozen or so of us. Some were folks I recognized from previous weeks and some were new faces. Holly, the girl I gave my sign to last week, was there when we arrived. She was courageously conversing with a young man who disagreed with our large display of people. He said that our presence was a judgment upon innocent people who were there to receive services. (That was his judgment upon us).
Well, he's right, frankly. I do judge. I can't help it. I judge what I will do each day; I judge what I will ingest; I judge with whom I will dine; I will even judge whether or not I will approach someone based upon their non-verbals. I judge, I discern, I make choices based upon my very human reality. I can even judge a happy prayer person approaching avocado green bldg from a scared, downcast young woman. I know which one is coming to end the life that is within her.
I believe judging is human and normal. We all do it - we need to do it in order to survive. Making right judgments is not to be confused with judgmentalism...this is an attitude of judging everyone else's wrongness and never judging oneself. We teach our children judge differences between good and bad, vice and virtue in order to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.
I think it's condemning we need to avoid. Condemning puts us in the place of God. It says to the one being condemned, "my ways are so far above your ways" or "I am right and you are wrong". At the clinics, we never stand in condemnation of a brother or a sister who has had or is in the process of having an abortion. We try to identify with her pain and show her the love that she has been missing.
Another striking feature of the 40 Days for Life Campaign that I have realized is that this is truly a movement that has the ability to unite Christians and Pro-life peoples from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. I was praying today with Anglicans, Calvary Church members, Lutherans and Catholics. This is one issue that cuts across the broad religious stratosphere. I ended up in conversation with an Anglican priest talking, of all things, about the Liturgy. How interesting. We were both aware of the differences, but we were also happily aware of our many similarities.
God writes straight with crooked lines.