I was pretty active in the pro-life movement as a high schooler. Several of us from the church would stand on the streets in Atlanta and display signs. We never engaged with people and it was always a silent protest with posters. I remember standing outside the biggest abortion clinic in the state of Georgia. I will never forget witnessing a young girl arrive with her mother (or guardian). Both were in the front seats. A few hours later, I noticed the same car pass leave. This time, the mother was in the front and the girl was curled up in the back crying. I knew what had just transpired and my heart broke. This was my first real experience with the real effects of abortion.
This situation propelled me to dive in and learn what I could do. I received notice by the Georgia Right to Life of a student oratory contest. This gave kids my age the opportunity to write a speech about their feelings on abortion. I knew all the catchphrases, but I wanted to speak on something of substance and not just buzzwords. I had just learned of someone close to me that had an abortion and the trauma she experienced afterward. I knew I wanted to do my speech on post traumatic stress disorder following an abortion. I entered the contest and won for the state of Georgia. I practiced with a Right to Life coach for several months before going to Nashville to represent Georgia at Nationals. I ended up placing second or third. I remember being upset because the boy who won simply preached the catchphrases. So, it took the wind out of my sails a bit.
However, I sincerely cared for the life of the unborn. I ended up writing a song my Senior year called, “Heal Our Land”. I was inspired to write the song after seeing a picture of Jesus knelt down weeping with an aborted fetus in His hand. It was a powerful image. I was asked to sing at church and worked with the band to play the song. Our pastor did not know what song I was singing, but asked if I could do the song at the end. He ended up sharing a message on abortion that was very candid and real. I knew then that this song was made for a moment like this. It was a very passionate delivery of the song and one I will never forget.
That summer, on our youth summer trip to Oklahoma, I entered a youth talent contest. I was a bit nervous before trying out and a good friend of mine spoke the most impactful encouragement to me before going on. She said, “Robbie, just go sing and do your best for an audience of One.” That phrase has been my motto every since. My only desire is to sing and bring joy to Christ. He is my audience of One. The One that truly matters. I ended up winning for best original song and sang it for the thousands of youth on the final day.