i stood in front of a clinic this morning. been standing in front of it almost every saturday for two months. praying. chatting. waiting. it’s the new woman all women clinic in downtown birmingham, and it’s been a place of true hostility for me this year. a place where i am acutely aware of the enemy’s hate for god’s love. a place where i have experienced acts of angry intimidation from clinic escorts, and blatant dismissal of the law from attorneys”¦a place where i have to keep my guard up, but my temper down. it’s a battlefield, in the truest sense of the word. and some days take a great deal more of humility than others, but today humility was not a problem. today the fight faded, and the brokenness of humanity, cracking evermore beneath the weight of abortion, took center stage.
late in the morning, a young girl, thin and unsteady, emerged from the door of the clinic. with the help of her boyfriend, she managed to get her frail form down the steps and into the middle of the parking lot. then she froze. her hand came up to cover her face, and she began to sob.
my heart dropped. i wanted to pray for her. to physically wrap my arms around her tiny body and pray for god’s strength and mercy and compassion. for healing. for forgiveness. for the soul of the child who, just a little while before, had been living so strongly inside her. she was a broken woman. a lost mother. anyone could see that. even the clinic escort, a typically bitter and indignant woman, moved across the property to hold her.
i would have given most anything to move across with her. to be set free from the exacting limitations of property lines just long enough to tightly hug this woman and tell her face to face, jesus loves you, i love you, and there is so much healing beyond this pain.
but i wasn’t able. and it broke my heart. and it made me wonder”¦fiercely wonder”¦how this escort could hold a woman to her chest, feel that woman’s sharp breaths and hot tears, feel the weight of her fragmented body lean and sway as her knees lost strength beneath her, and then still choose to support abortion. to deny its devastation. to believe that she was doing good when she led women into a building where their babies would die and their souls would be wounded.
it was a sadness that i have not felt in a very long time, and it reminded me why i was standing in front of that clinic.
i am not just standing there because the owner has bullied the prolife community for fifteen years, or because i want to encourage people to cross the street. not because i want to make a point and not because i like a good fight”¦we stand in front of those clinics because children are dying inside of them, alone and without dignity. we stand there because abortion destroys everyone it touches”“the mother, the father, the baby, the doctor, the nurse. we stand there to be a voice for those who have none, and a testimony of a loving God to those who suffer.
i pray that i never forget that. and i pray that the women who walked into an abortion clinic this morning with a child, and then out with a broken heart, will find healing, and grace, and compassion. in fact, i pray a lot of things. and i know that many of you are praying with me. thank you for that saints, and good night. may the peace of the lord be always with us. and may abortion become a thing of the past.