By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director
Something moved me last week, and has stayed with me ever since. Stopped at a busy intersection, I noticed a man in need, with a cardboard sign and backpack lying next to him. A car that had the right of way and could have easily kept going pulled over, lowered the window, and beckoned the man to approach.
Conversation and smiles were exchanged. A large water bottle passed through the window and then a bag full of groceries. After a gesture of gratitude, the man returned to his familiar patch of grass, eagerly examining his treasure, almost like a child on Christmas morn.
The light signaled me to go and so I did. But my mind remained at that intersection, processing the simple yet profound act of kindness I had just witnessed.
The man was white and middle-aged, the driver a young black woman. But in that moment of need, in that time of self-giving, there was no race, gender, or age to divide them. There were two human beings, both of equal dignity, one freely giving of her plenty to one who had little.
It was a voluntary act of love between two strangers that touched me deeply. How many others stopped at the intersection were privileged to see this? Could the young woman possibly know the impact she had, not just on the man, but on all of us onlookers?
While clearly her act of charity benefitted the man, I know that she too gained something in that moment. “It is in giving that we receive.”
Caring for the weak and vulnerable, making time for others, giving of self, sharing resources, expecting nothing in return…this is the pro-life message. It is our mission as human beings, written in our hearts. And even though it can be challenging, it is inherent in our human nature.
It is natural to want to reach out, to help, to aid in the other’s survival. That is why abortion is so un-natural. It erects a wall where there should be none, between a mother and her very own child. Abortion divides. It dismisses. It disposes of another living human being.
The opportunity to be a gift to one in need, to one who is dependent, to one seeking survival is tragically lost.
That is why random acts of kindness, acts of love toward the other, like the one I witnessed, mean so very much. They remind us.
They remind us that gender, race, age, faith, or socio-economic status do not make us more or less valuable.
They remind us that size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency do not make us any more or less human.
They remind us that our achievements or lack of them do not define our worth.
They remind us that every life has inherent dignity and deserves our protection.
They remind us that making a gift of ourselves to the other is as good for the giver as it is for those who receive.
We are made that way. At our very core, we are pro-life.