Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reality Check

I thought I'd take an opportunity to share a few thoughts I had on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and the courageous women and men who give testimony.

This week's Fortune magazine features a cover story on Melinda Gates, wife of local billionaire Bill Gates

The headline inside the magazine is -- Melinda Gates goes public. The author says, "Melinda has sacrificed privacy, security, simplicity, and normalcy." It goes on to describe Mrs. Gates working hard at her children's school during the day and then hosting a dozen dinner guests, including four African health ministers. But it is this paragraph that really hit me:

By 10 P.M., after everyone had left, she was feeling frazzled and panicky about her speech the next morning. "Just go to bed!" Bill told her. "You know so much about malaria." Melinda dreads the spotlight, but the following morning she faced more than 300 scientists, doctors, and health officials. She unveiled an audacious plan to eradicate malaria - a disease that kills more than one million people annually and has eluded a cure for centuries - and then answered questions with Bill. Afterward the crowd buzzed about this woman whom even they, recipients of the Gateses' billions, hardly know.
I applaud Melinda for her efforts to help eradicate malaria (don't get me started on her support for Planned Parenthood and population control efforts), but I couldn't help thinking --She really has no idea. Here is a woman with wealth, the "right" clothes, stylists, assistants, trainers, cooks and every convenience to make her every move just right; with thousands of adoring VIPs, world leaders, and rock stars who travel half way around the world to sit at her feet hoping that she will bestow some of her fortune upon them, and she's feeling frazzled and panicky?

What a contrast with the women of SNMA who truly "go public" under circumstances in complete contrast to Melinda Gates. I know many of you struggle long hours over your testimony -- what will you say, how will you say it in only 2 minutes, and most importantly how can I reach that one woman who needs to hear my story? Many of you are up way past 10 pm after a long day of work, cooking, cleaning, and attending to children, family, and friends. You know more about abortion than you ever wanted to know. What you are going to say at a SNMA gathering is something many people don't want to hear and may try to prevent you from saying. You know who you are going to face but it could by anybody. Your testimony is audacious. You dread the "spotlight" and perhaps wish it wasn't you standing in it but learned along the way that God's will is the most important thing in the universe. While you speak, the crowd goes so silent you can hear a pin drop. A few tears fall silently to the ground. The shock and sound of applause at the end pushes all your emotions to the margins; all because you refused to be silent. You are handing out the truth. Who knew people were so desperate to get some?

All of us have sacrificed privacy, security, simplicity by doing what we do as participants in SNMA. However, in contrast to Mrs. Gates I think we have actually gained "normalcy". It's when we are hiding and afraid of what might happen if we speak out that things don't seem right, a little 'off', that we aren't being true to ourselves and God. Sadly our whole culture appears to be living this inverted idea of what is "normal". It seems to be on a flight from reality. Thanks to SNMA I've begun to see that "normal" means speaking the truth and then living it. That's reality. We need to recapture that for ourselves and our culture. Thank you for being silent no more.

Here are the details on the January 16th event:
WHO: Silent No More Awareness Campaign
WHAT: Powerful testimonies revealing the truth about abortion
WHEN: Wednesday, January 16th,7:00 pm
WHERE: Campus of WWU, NOTE NEW ROOM: Bond Hall, Room 109, Bellingham, Washington
SPONSORS: Western for Life and Silent No More Awareness Campaign

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