An Opportunity to Love (Guest Blogger: Laura Ricketts)

An Opportunity to Love (Guest Blogger: Laura Ricketts)

When Doug asked me to write a bit about why I was not only willing to come on board with Abby’s ministry, And Then There Were None (ATTWN), but also why I was over-the-moon-thrilled-and super-excited to do so, I had to really search for the right words to explain why. Naturally, I turned to John Paul II, my Spiritual Father, because I was sure he had already explained it better than I could. (I once accused myself of having “JPII Syndrome” because sometimes I randomly just spout quotes and anecdotes about him. If you don’t know me that well, it’s one of my many endearing qualities, I promise!) True to form, I found the words I was looking for in two things Papa once said, “The gratuitous Love of God is the answer to all questions.” & “It is Love that has explained everything to me.”

While these two quotes may seem like a snarky copout as answers, they really do encompass how I feel about the opportunity I have been given with ATTWN. I feel honored. I am being given a unique opportunity to love! Sure, I have spent my time on the sidewalk in front of clinics. I have spent my time giving speeches in front of State Houses and at prolife rallies. I’ve been bullied by misguided clinic escorts and I’ve faced the threat of arrest. I’ve sat with post-abortive women and let them cry, and heard their stories. I ran a maternity home for homeless pregnant women… I’ve worn many hats in the Pro-Life world. I have tried my best to love – to love moms and to love babies. And you know what, it’s not hard to love the babies. And once I embraced the fact that if you’re prolife, then you love them BOTH, it wasn’t hard to love the women going in for abortions either. But love doesn’t have limits. It shouldn’t stop at loving those who are EASY to love and if I am really, truly, pro-life, then I must love them ALL. Baby, Mom, and abortionist.

A clinic worker is no less human, and no less deserving of love than the innocent baby whose life is in danger. You see, we don’t deserve love because of what we do. We deserve love because we are made in the image of God. We deserve love because we are persons. This can be a really hard pill to swallow for many people. Even good Christians. The idea that someone who does something that is wrong, someone who does something that is reprehensible, someone who does something that is evil is still deserving of love seems almost counterintuitive. But it’s the Gospel. It’s the Truth.

I think it’s easy for people in the prolife world to want an enemy. It’s easy to coalesce to fight a common villain. Sadly, for too long, abortion workers have been this enemy. I have heard too many people use the phrases “he is evil” or “she is evil.” No. what they do may be evil. But a person is a person, and as long as they are living on this earth they have God’s Mercy, forgiveness, and grace available to them. NO MATTER WHAT THEY MAY HAVE DONE! So if the Almighty God, Himself can face suffering and death at the hands of all of us (let’s face it, we are all sinners. All.) and He can forgive us, and beyond forgive us, He can love us, then who in the world am I to refuse to love anyone? Who am I to decide who deserves to be loved and who doesn’t?! In fact, I don’t want to just love those who are easy to love. I want to love those who the world hates. I want to love those who don’t even think they deserve to be loved. I want to show them that there is at least one person who sees their value. Who sees their worth and who sees them as the child of God that they are.

Now this all sounds good on paper (at least I hope it does!) but the reality is, love takes many forms. Love isn’t just this mushy, happy feeling. Love is tough. Love, real love, is tenacious, and gritty, and sometimes it’s not even pretty. Love never condones actions that are wrong, but it does forgive. I have had enough life experience to know that love, real love, isn’t about feelings and it’s not even about me! It’s about the other. It’s about the person deserving love. It is about me wanting what is good and true for them. Love is about meeting someone where they are at, in their present circumstances and walking with them in Truth. At their own pace. In their own time. If I want to love someone, then I must be willing to give of myself – without expecting anything in return.

So that’s it. I don’t really have any expectations of the men and women I am privileged to meet through ATTWN. I don’t know if they will all be like Abby, or not. I don’t know if they will have awesome conversion stories or even if they will want to talk about God. I don’t know if they will one day write their own books or turn the abortion industry on its head. And I honestly don’t expect them to. I don’t even know how long they will give me the privilege of being a part of their lives. And I’m fine with that. Those things I will leave up to God. He is much bigger and much more capable of changing and guiding hearts than I am. I, for my part, will love. I will love these people as they are. I will encourage them if I can. I will be there for them when they need someone. I will pray for them. And I will pray that if nothing else, they will know that there is someone who loves them. Despite their pasts, there is someone who sees them as people, not as former abortion workers, but as people, unique, gifted people who deserve to be loved.

Abby&LauraLaura is a wife and mother who aspires to one day become a crazy cat lady. She is a student midwife and credentialed birth and bereavement doula. When she isn’t homeschooling her children she can usually be found playing with yarn, reading, or eating bacon. Laura has worn many hats in the prolife movement and worked as a political consultant for Presidential candidates. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for TeenStar International, The Guiding Star Project, and ATTWN. Laura adores her husband who is extremely supportive, patient, and never steals her bacon.

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