All eyes were on Lily Moody during her college writing class at the University of Northern Colorado when she stood to tell them the truth—being pro-life, she said, is also about protecting and caring for women.
The professor and class began to debate the 21-year-old about abortion and women’s rights. Moody found herself up against a class of 30 peers.
“It was hard to stand up. The professor participated like one of the students,” she said. “In those moments you want to run as fast as you can. But God gave me the graces to know I was speaking the truth and saying it in a loving way—that I was planting a seed.”
They argued women shouldn’t pay the price of an unwanted pregnancy. She said babies are not a price to pay; they’re human beings. They said late-term abortions don’t occur anymore. She brought articles to prove that’s false.
Stories of students’ bold witness to the faith on campuses are surfacing after the spring release of the film “God’s Not Dead.” The Christian movie reached the top 10 in the box office the last few months for its depiction of college freshman Josh Wheaton faced with denying God’s existence in his philosophy class. His atheist professor challenges Wheaton to prove God’s existence over the semester after he refused to write “God is dead.” If he fails to convince his classmates, the professor will fail him.
The film garnered the support of Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila and pro-life advocates for its themes of faith, doubt and call to discipleship.
Ryan Kent, a sophomore at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, has found many opportunities to share the faith.
“I’ve found the most profound experiences aren’t when I’m defending the faith but loving others,” he said.
Like a few weeks ago, when Kent said he was touring with the university concert choir, and talked about faith. A particularly unpopular member of the choir, known for womanizing and partying, confessed to him that he was unhappy about his life.
“I was able to talk to him about the Catholic faith,” Kent said. “I told him, ‘You have work to do but you’re made in God’s image and you’re a good person.’”
That same loving message he brought to “the stump,” a tree trunk on campus where its tradition to stand on and preach.
“I wanted to go out and preach on it,” Kent said. He shared his own faith story and students stopped to listen.
“It was super scary at first, but once I got up and started talking the nervousness went away and I could feel the Holy Spirit.”
Moody said she and her peers prepare for Bearfoot for Babies week on the UNC campus, when students go barefoot to testify for life, by attending Mass and praying for hearts to be opened.
She said witnessing to her faith can be draining when challenged, but knowing it’s the truth helps keep her strong.
“It is something I would die for, so why wouldn’t I debate it?” Moody said. “I realized it’s not that bad when people don’t like me because I’m Catholic. I don’t think about how much it hurts me. I really focus on how (the person I’m talking to) is hurting and how much they need my prayers and God’s grace.”
“God’s not Dead”
Starring: Kevin Sorbo and Shane Harper.
Info: visit godsnotdeadthemovie.com