Just previous to meeting ‘Danny’, a middled-aged ‘atheist’, a visitor on Parliament Hill said to me: “You should not mix religion with abortion when you are discussing abortion with others.” I answered him: “I cannot not speak of Jesus Christ , (while pointing to my cross around my neck) when I speak to others about abortion.” Why? Because Jesus Christ said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father unless by me.” (John 14:6)
Why is it so critically important to tell others about Jesus Christ? Mainly because they have a soul that needs to be saved for eternity! Also, once a person is seriously committed to Jesus Christ as “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.” then he is awakened to the fierce battle today between the ‘Culture of Life’ and the ‘Culture of death’.
John 10:10 shows this so clearly: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.”
This ‘awakening’ to the spiritual battle gives a whole new dimension and purpose and power to this person’s life as they go forward in the power of the Holy Spirit and not in their own strength. Then the ‘Pro-Life movement’ gains another committed Christian soldier, warrior, to fight for the Culture of Life.
So this ‘Truth’ was uppermost in my spirit and my mind as I saw Danny a short distance from me, studying my graphic abortion sign. I asked him: “Do you understand the message?” He replied: “Yes, and personnally I am against abortion of innocent children.” He continued: “To choose to abort a child must be a terribly hard decision for a woman to make.”
I said” “Yes, for those who are pressured into an abortion, and there are many, (cf: www.TheUnchoice.com) it certainly is a heart-wrenching decision, but then there are others who being very ‘self-centered and selfish’, don’t hesitate for a second because they see the child as an ‘inconvenience’ in their life.”
Danny then said something very personal to me. He said with much emotion: “I wish my mother had chosen to abort me when she was pregnant of me.”
Shocked, I asked: “And why do you say that?” He answered: “Because I was the cause of much trouble to her.” I looked at Danny and said: “Don’t say that again. As a unique human being, you are just as important, just as precious to God as everyone else on this earth. God knows you so well, He even has the hairs of your head numbered. (cf: Luke 12:7) I emphasized to Danny just how well God knew him and loved him. (cf: Jeremiah 1:15: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”)
At this point he confessed: “I’m an atheist.” I then pointed to the ‘Cross’ around my neck and explained the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ to obtain my salvation. I continued on by sharing with him my personal story of ‘conversion to Jesus Christ’ 37 years ago, and how that gave my life a whole new sense of direction and purpose.
He was listening quietly and very attentively as I said: “Danny, our life is so short on this earth. I am already 65 years old!” I continued: “We are on a very brief but important journey. It is a ‘time of testing’, before we die and go on to the next life. St-John of the Cross once said: ‘On the eve of life, we shall be judged by love.’ ”
I continued: “Yes, when we die and meet God, it is Jesus Christ, crucified for us sinners and resurrected who will judge us on the basis of our repentance and acceptance and our love for Him and our love for our brothers and sisters during our earthly journey.”
If we pass this test Heaven will eventually and ultimately be our eternal home. The reverse, an eternity in Hell, holds true for those who stubbornly remain unrepentant, don’t love God and their neighbor, and live only for ‘themselves’.
I then looked at Danny and said: “I don’t believe you are an atheist, I can sense the love and goodness you have in your heart for others. I ask you only this: Please get away somewhere alone with a Bible and sincerely pray to God to speak to your heart as you read and meditate his Holy Word. He will speak to you.” I then spoke to Danny about the importance of growing in Holyness and I could sense that what I was saying was registering with him.
At this point Danny confessed to me: “God did speak to me once before.” I looked at him and said: “I believe you and I will pray for you.” With this having been said he shook my hand several times and with much joy and gratitude said: “I’m so glad to have met you.”
The next morning as I reflected on my encounter with Danny, the atheist, I came across this scripture as I assisted at Mass. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings of peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation.” (Isaiah 52)
Yes, Danny, the atheist came up the mountain, to Parliament Hill and I had the joy and privilege to be God’s instrument to bring him the Good News that he was important, his life was valuable and that he was immensely ‘loved (cf: John 3:16) by God through Jesus Christ.
A discussion on abortion had begun our encounter and the Good News of Jesus Christ brought God’s love and a whole new perspective on the ‘purpose of life’ to Danny.
As one of my friends said to me as regards my encounter with Danny: “Maybe a soul has been saved for eternity, where there was despair, now there is hope.” (Cy Winter, Oct 18/12)
Donald Andre Bruneau,
Pro-Life advocate on Parliament Hill, Oct 18th, 2012.