Meeting in the Middle.
Updated: Aug 21
Black and white, right and wrong, left and right. When it comes to the work within a pregnancy center, the division is apparent. You’re either for something or against something; there’s no middle ground. And yet, I've found that the middle ground is often the exact place where we need to be.
Although it feels counterintuitive, the role of a pregnancy center is intrinsically nuanced. Women don’t feel cared for by your firm beliefs, strong opinions or religious self-righteousness; rather, they feel seen by your empathy, compassion and love. I’m not saying we shouldn’t advocate for truth, but I am challenging the way in which we deliver truth.
I’ve heard people equate pregnancy centers to “changing women’s minds.” Mind you, our work here is not to think for our patients. Our jobs, first and foremost, should be meeting our patients exactly where they are. We’re called to love, listen, grieve, educate and empower them, sharing truth, and walking alongside them regardless of their decision. I believe people become so focused on advocating, preserving and protecting the rights of the unborn, they forget about the person making this decision in the first place: the mother. Understanding is critical, knowledge is empowering, and empathy is essential. We don’t diminish the truth of what abortion is, but we don’t dismiss our patient's realities or the challenges they face, either.
Much like motherhood, our work at the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center doesn’t exist in the either/ors, but in the both/ands. It requires you to be both clear and compassionate, stark and soft, tough and tender, genuine and gentle. Where both baby and mother’s life are cared for and nurtured. We speak truth, but we speak it in kindness, grace, and love. We embrace the nuance and meet in the middle. Because empathy builds understanding, understanding builds relationship, and relationship builds trust. Less black and white, more grey. And maybe, just maybe, taking a step back to meet in the middle is how we can all move forward.
“You cannot help with a burden unless you come close to burdened people.” - Tim Keller
- Mackenzie Hurt, Marketing Specialist