This past weekend Jonathan and I attended a fundraising event for the Emerald Coast Coalition for Life. This group is a non-profit organization that is highly active in the pro-life community here in Pensacola, Florida – organizing outreach events, educating the public on abortion and offering abortion alternatives.
The theme for the fundraiser was a starfish, inspired by Loren Eisley’s “Starfish Story”:
One day a young man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.
Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”
The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
The man laughed and said, “Don’t you realize, there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man he said, “I made a difference to that one.”
And the Emerald Coast Coalition for Life (ECCL) is making a difference… one life at a time.
After Dr. Ernie Cyr, the Executive Director for ECCL (and a spitting image of Greg Gutfeld from Fox News), gave the ministry update and offered the pledge challenge, we all had the privilege of listening to the touching story of the nights keynote speaker, Mr. Chad Judice.
And by touching story, I mean a frikkin’ TEAR JERKER. A “I-can’t-see-to-take-pictures-because-my-lens-is-somehow-all-blurry” story. Chad Judice is the author of Waiting For Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith and Eli’s Reach. Both books outline the story of his son Eli, born with spina bifida, a condition that moves over 80% of mothers to abort their babies that suffer from it. Choosing to ignore the advice and the social pressure of a world without morals urging them to kill their baby, they walked in faith and prayerfully welcomed their son into this world, where he is a source of joy and inspiration to many.
It never ceases to amaze me that we live in a world that supports, protects and draws hope from children with special needs – cheering for the Special Olympics, recoiling in horror at those who would pick on or harm a kid with special needs – yet if those same children were to be brutally dismembered in the womb, many would see it as a “responsible” or “acceptable” thing to do. The same child that brings joy and hope to the world, would be left floating in a bloody abortionists bowl if many pro-choicers had their way.
This is why groups like ECCL are so vital to the health of our community. When the pro-death crowd is pushing for the relentless slaughter of babies – healthy or handicapped – those children in danger of “choice” need an advocate. Whether that means standing outside of an abortion mill to counsel confused young women, or lending financial support to those who have the time to reach out. While there will always be people in this world that seek to harm children, if you can say, “I made a difference to that one”, you have truly left this world different than when you came in. What higher calling?