On Sunday evening my husband Joe and I attended the First Annual Life and Hope Concert benefiting the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation. The country music concert at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis featured Collin Raye and Randy Travis. It was truly an upbeat celebration of life and many of the musical selections spoke to the value of life, especially in several of the songs performed by Collin Raye.
Prior to the concert, John Condit, one of the coordinators of the event, revealed to a few pro-life leaders gathered at a pre-concert reception, that Collin Raye’s granddaughter, who had suffered her whole life with a severe neurological disorder, had died at age 9 on Holy Saturday.
Because the whole issue of cognitive disorder is so close to Raye’s heart he chose to go ahead with the Life and Hope Concert in spite of the fact that he had just attended his granddaughter’s funeral on Wednesday. He mentioned the importance of the cause several times in the course of his performance.
One of the songs Raye performed was “The Only Jesus.” The lyrics are particularly apropos to the challenges outside an abortion clinic. It tells the tale of a homeless, drunk man who asks for a hand-out and the reaction of the man he approaches. The chorus of the song goes like this:
And who am I to judge him, don’t know what he’s been through
If I read the Bible right, it’s only something God can do.
If I can help him out of darkness, let him see the light in me,
I might be the only Jesus he will ever see.
Having just returned Saturday night from giving a sidewalk counseling seminar in Worcester, MA, I was particularly struck by the need to remind ourselves that out in front of an abortion clinic we may well be the only Jesus the women and men coming there in a crisis will ever see. I had tried to stress in my seminar that sidewalk counselors must approach their mission with nonjudgmental compassion because you cannot save an unborn baby’s life without reaching his mother’s heart.
I love pro-life events that really celebrate life. Surely Sunday’s country concert fell into that category.
Anyone who was not able to attend the event can still make a contribution to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation here.