My weekly habit after an early morning of sidewalk counseling always included heading to my favorite coffee shop to pray and process all that I’d just experienced. I am thankful my schedule allowed for these hours of mourning and contemplation as they afforded me the chance to search God’s Word for comfort and solace when all my instincts tended toward depression. My journals attest to the desperation and defeat sidewalk counselors often experience, but thankfully they also record the reassuring hope that was always available to me in Scripture.
Nowadays my schedule is somewhat more constrained as I spend much of my time caring for the life of my own little baby girl. I celebrate life each new morning when my sweet 1 year-old greets me with her early chatter and sunrise smiles. Although my time does not accommodate sidewalk counseling as it once did, the burden on my heart has never been lifted for the unborn. This past week I was reminded of my heart’s cry for the many to be-murdered babies that once passed me by on the sidewalks. Ironically, it was my own lively baby girl who brought this to mind as she is now able to pull journals off of bookshelves and show her appreciation for mama’s writing by munching on their contents.
My latest last minute save was a journal entry was from an April morning in 2010. Here I recorded my coffee shop prayer after one of my earlier experiences sidewalk counseling:
17 April 2010
Another morning at the abortion clinic. More babies unmet. More mothers turned murderers. More fathers not found. More escorts reviling their God and savoring being used of Satan. Oh the sorrow, the dark gloom. The clamps still snap. The bones still break. The vacuum yet whirs We beg. We plead. We run the streets in desperation. Who will stay the madness? Who will shed light on this dark horror? As morning dawns, lives are dimmed. The spark is gone. The heartbeat unheard. Father! For Your justice, for Your goodness, for Your glory, please save the young ones. Please save the mothers. Please save the revilers and the hypocrites. Your Word was heard today and rejected by all. You are truly merciful to save any. I humbly ask You to mercifully intercede for sinners like me. I also ask for Your glory to be our aim. I trust You and especially now when I can do no other. You are mighty to save and holy to judge.
Looking back on this entry has reminded me of the intensity of those mornings and their impact on my life as a Christian. I have never hated sin as I did observing its ghastly consequences. And I have never savored Christ as I did seeing what He saves us from. Although sidewalk counseling is the hardest ministry I’ve been a part of, I praise God for how it opened my eyes to the spiritual realities I was only half aware of before. The intensity of God’s goodness is all the more magnified next to His murderous opposition. Oh that my prayers would consistently and vigorously oppose sin and seek God’s glory!
Tomorrow morning, my beloved brothers and sisters in Louisville, Kentucky will continue sidewalk counseling to speak for the unborn and declare the glorious life of the gospel to those who are hell-bent on death. May we Christians pray with desperation for our God to bless their efforts, to thwart the plans of their opposition, and to show His glory by even making 2nd and Market the site where many lost souls are redeemed into eternal life rather than enticed into the agony of death.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.