Sometimes meetings happen that are completely unexpected.
Jill Stanek had just such an experience with Steve Trombley, the CEO of the newly consolidated Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
Though Jill and Steve couldn’t be further apart on the issue of abortion, they ended up next to each other on a plane headed to Dallas. You can read about Jill’s take on it here.
God’s ways are mysterious, and humorously humbling – it’s rather hard not to see this occurrence as some sort of sign.
What can be accomplished through such encounters? The late Anna Sullivan of Rhode Island Right to Life showed her rival Mary Anne Sorrentino – the former Executive Director of Planned Parenthood in RI, small bits of kindness that conveyed great sacrificial love whenever they met prior to their abortion debates. It included letters and recognition, even during turbulent times. The love God showed through Anna was so much that Mary Anne wept greatly at the passing of her friend.
What Anna knew, which Mary Anne is learning, is that love is not a feeling, but something you do. Even if it’s something you don’t want to do, like asking sincere questions about the other, not to frame arguments, but to learn of their life. It means seeking that image of God within them, no matter how dim or obscure that might seem. Such efforts are a sacrifice – a small bit of holiness.
As followers of Christ, one of the hardest things for us to learn is how to separate the sin from the sinner, and look at people through a heart of forgiveness and love. It’s easy to know it in our heads, but so much harder to truly love our neighbors in our hearts.
As a father, Steve believes he’s doing right, yet he must realize that life is incredibly precious. During the long hours of the night he’ll wonder about his legacy – about making a better world for his grandchildren. He’ll likely wonder if his own children aborted his grandchildren, and what their lives would have meant to him. He might even miss the love they would have shown him. And he may regret the joy he never knew because one of his own decided to treat another of his own as a mistake instead of a gift, as property instead of a human being.
What does it matter – why does he do what he does, if ultimately the goal is to provide a better world for the coming generations?
Truthfully the abortion industry deals with the doubt and despair of many, so it’s no wonder they seek after a candidate who pledges to provide them hope, but ultimately cannot deliver.
Steve happens to be one of those in the depths of despair.
God is sovereign. We know the end of the story.
The question is do we have the courage to love others like Christ even though they might be killing themselves and their posterity?
That’s easier said than done.