Eric Scheidler leads pro-lifers in song outside Planned Parenthood in Aurora, IL [Photo by Matt Yonke]
This past Sunday, October 2, marked the 4th anniversary of the dark day that Planned Parenthood opened the doors of their “Abortion Fortress,” the first of their mega-centers which are now spreading across the nation. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, the Pro-Life Action League marked this grim day with a “Do-it Yourself” pro-life concert on the vacant lot across the street from the midwest’s largest abortion clinic. The DIY concert is an idea League Executive Director Eric Scheidler came up with to celebrate the closing of the second 40 Days for Life vigil in 2008 and we’ve held them several times since. Pro-lifers bring a lawn chair and copies of their favorite hymn or praise song and an instrument if they play one, and we sing praises to God thanking Him for the victories He’s granted us as a movement. Standing outside the abortion facility mourning the babies and reaching out to the abortion-bound moms is tough work. It takes quite an emotional toll, and there’s often very little observable positive result to this grueling task. That’s why it’s important to do something uplifting in the pro-life community from time to time, and even better to do it right there at the clinic, where God has saved babies and their mothers from the pain of abortion through the agency of faithful pro-lifers and brought us together as people working toward a common good. It’s even amazing to see how God has brought the pro-life community in Aurora together across the Catholic/Protestant divide such that we can sing, pray and celebrate together in unity because of our common commitment to life which has its roots in the incarnation of Jesus. I brought along my banjo and Eric brought his guitar and mandolin, and a crowd of pro-lifers sang through some of the great hymns of the faith like Just a Closer Walk with Thee, Onward Christian Soldiers and Amazing Grace, a staple of League protests. After some great singing Eric and I along with Joe and Ann Scheidler had a chance to visit with some pro-lifers who have been involved in the fight since before Planned Parenthood opened their doors in Aurora. The esprit de corps among pro-lifers who have worked shoulder to shoulder for years is a bond like few others I’ve experienced. That fellowship made for a sweet close to an otherwise bitter day. As we looked at the dark, empty building, I thought about how someday it will be empty for good. Planned Parenthood may seem like a Goliath to us, but we know what God does with arrogant giants.