A soft answer turns away wrath

Rachel outside Miami High School: A soft answer turns away wrath

By Rachel Burkey, Created Equal Administrative Director

Last week, our team had just arrived for outreach outside of a local high school, preparing to dialogue with students as they walked home from school. While setting up signs across the street from where the buses exit the school, I heard three women behind me (apparently bus drivers) talking among themselves about me.

“Who does she think she is, that she can bring this stuff [referring to pictures of the babies] here at a school for everyone to see?”

“She’s just here to show what kind of psychotic human being she is.”

They continued to chat back and forth. As I finished putting the signs up, I wondered about the best way to respond. I turned to cross the street as I looked up towards them and smiled, pretending that I had not heard a word they said. I greeted them and asked for their thoughts on abortion.

One woman named Tina, began defending abortion in the case of a baby being conceived in rape. I explained the logical conclusion of her position, and posed a question:

“The argument for abortion in the case of rape says that if her [the baby’s] father had acted violently towards her mother, then she doesn’t matter, but if her parents loved each other then she does matter. What does that say about those whose parents have acted violently towards each other? Are they less valuable?”

Tina stopped dead in her tracks, thinking hard. She realized that she did believe they have value, and before she left she agreed that all humans, born and pre-born, are created equal.

Tina, Michelle, and Lisa all shook my hand before they headed back to their buses and thanked me for talking to them. Afterward Proverbs 15:1 came to mind:

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

I realized that had I not responded to them in a gentle way, the result of our conversation could have been completely different. I pray for these three ladies even today, that they will come to a saving knowledge of Christ and understand the value of each human made in God’s image. The Lord is teaching me how to continue to see these people as image bearers of Him.