Last week, Together for the Gospel held a conference in downtown Louisville. One person who was here in town for the event wrote today about walking past the abortion clinic, EMW, one morning on the way to conference.
One morning, as I walked by that clinic, passing directly in front of it, I saw that three or four people were just outside, holding signs and passing out pamphlets. I was taken aback; here in Ontario it has long since been declared illegal to protest outside a clinic. Yet there they were, quietly and peacefully protesting.
Standing a little bit apart from those people were two men and a woman, each wearing an orange vest emblazoned with “Escort.” These three people were escorting young women from the parking lot to the clinic, walking them past the protestors, all of whom were behaving peacefully; two were seated on the sidewalk praying, the others were calling to the women and saying, “Please don’t kill your baby. You don’t have to do this!” One young woman walked by them—she couldn’t have been older than sixteen or seventeen—with her mother beside her, her head down. She quietly took a pamphlet and disappeared inside. The people on the sidewalk kept praying. A moment later another woman, perhaps in her twenties or thirties, passed by the protestors and went inside as well.
All of that unraveled in the few seconds it took for me to pass by—a very powerful few seconds. I was shocked and gravely disappointed—shocked again, shocked anew, that we allow this to happen, that our society not only allows this to happen, but is actually complicit in this genocide. And I was so gravely disappointed in myself, so ashamed. I felt no animosity toward those young women. They were doing only what they have been instructed to do, what parents and friends and guidance counselors and maybe even pastors have told them is the happiest outcome. “It’s just like having a tumor removed. It’s just a small surgery; it will be over before you know it. It’s better this way.”
That little girl who went in there was a sinner behaving like a sinner, an unbeliever acting out of unbelief, desperate to rid herself of the evidence of her sin or perhaps the evidence of a sin committed against her. She was wrong, of course, and will have to give an account for what she has done; but I harbor no ill-will for her. It is me I was disgusted with and me I was ashamed of. Disgusted that I could watch that and not do something, ashamed that I have no idea what to do and that I have done so little. I don’t even know what I ought to do. Cry out to God and ask him to intervene? Demand answers from God as to how he can allow this to go on? What do you do, how do you react, when you see someone about to commit murder? I, we, do nothing. We feel disturbed, we feel bad, we feel guilty and ashamed, and we walk away. This atrocity has been going on all around me all of my life and I do so very little about it. I stopped for a moment, felt revulsion, and then went on my way and ate breakfast.
The entire post is worth reading and I’m thankful to Tim Challies for writing honestly about his experience last week. Our society is allowing the legal murder of children and yet we are so often silent about it – even though we profess to be pro-life.
Don’t stop fighting for these children. We’d love to see you on Saturday mornings (or any morning you can make it) to speak truth to these women and to pray for them and their unborn children.
Every Friday morning, we have a group of S4U sidewalk counselors that come out to Louisville’s abortion clinic and do our best to share the hope of Christ with those scheduled to be devastated by the sin of abortion. Most of our volunteers have to leave straight for work afterwards so we are not able to stay and pray together or share our experiences. Instead, I send out a weekly email to our group with a brief summary of the morning’s events and some encouragement to keep our focus on the Lord and His truth in the midst of these tough situations.
We’d like to start sharing these messages on the blog to give you a better idea of how our mornings typically go. I hope they motivate you to think through your own stance on these weekly tragedies and even challenge you to actively join us in prayer for the needs we encounter.
Today I had one of those conversations I’m sure to remember for the rest of my life. A young father on his way out of the clinic actually stopped and had an extended conversation with me. I said all the same things I always say, and he replied with all the same responses they always give, but what I will remember was his hesitation. Every excuse he gave, the Bible had a reply. Every reason to he had to walk away, God had provided a reason to stay. We went back and forth cautiously and in between each new thought he’d stand, look off in the distance, and truly think through his next move. I will never forget his anguished eyes that even welled up as he gave in an made his final choice to leave. Oh how sin plagues our blind and burdened neighbors! And what inward turmoil this young man was so obviously tortured by. I don’t think I have ever hated sin and Satan more tangibly than I did after seeing their affects on my pitiable new friend.
Please pray with me that God uses this father’s apparent conviction to turn his heart to Christ. I would not be surprised to hear if he had come back and brought his girlfriend out of the clinic, he was so on the fence. May we continue to show up for men and women like him who so desperately need hope and forgiveness.
We had 18 go in today. 1 went into both AWC and EMW but came quickly out of both. Pray she has had a change of heart and will not come back to EMW!
The first part of this entry I want to speak about some things that have been happening specifically with me the past couple of Saturdays at the clinic. I hope it will encourage people who are involved to continue to speak and people who may just be reading this to pray more fervently in hopes that, not only babies would be saved, but also that lives would be changed eternally because the Spirit of God has irresistibly moved upon them causing repentance and faith in Christ and everything he has accomplished. The second part I hope to use a psalm to encourage more prayer from everyone using Psalm 35.
I was counseling with Sarah last weekend and the place we were positioned saw about 3 or 4 male/female companion/client groups. After about the second group she commented that I had been able to speak clearly to the male each time. It caused me to reflect and see the grace God had given me the past couple of weeks. Rewind: A few weeks ago things were wrapping up and we were all hanging around the entrance of the clinic conversing and the guests who had accompanied the clients to the clinic began coming out. I was able to speak with a guy named Ira who expressed to me that upon his arrival to the clinic his heart changed from not caring about the abortion of his child to not wanting to do it at all. He explained to me that his girlfriend Crystal may just be getting the abortion because of some relationship issues they had had. This was in January and they found out she was pregnant in November. Anyway, Ira was a fan of rap music so I gave him my copy of Lecrae and Flame before we departed. He also has my number. Can we pray for Ira and Crystal? That the Lord would move into their lives with an Ezekial 36 conversion.
Back to last week: A couple was walking in and I began talking to a guy, later found his name to be Lenny. He continued to walk while I was talking to him but his friend was so far ahead of us that it was just me and Lenny talking. We got to the doors and he went in. Later he came out and we had another conversation. Lenny is from Ohio State and was accompanying his friend because no one would go with her. He also expressed to me he was a Christian and he actually leads a bible study at the Ohio State campus. We are now facebook friends, I confirmed it was okay to add him. Can we pray that the he would begin dialoguing with me and that if he is a believer he would also come to detest this thing that God hates? Praise God that he has been making provisions like this, maybe not saving babies in this case but hopefully creating new hearts!
Finally, Psalm 35. I was reading this the other day and was really glad in the Lord. Let me first say, I want our prayer to always be that the escorts would forsake their love for sin and allegiance to their father the devil and become sons and daughters of God. Also knowing the reality of the happenings taking place on Market St. this psalm was very tasty. I encourage you all to read Psalm 35. David is describing his enemies pursuing his life for death, hating him, and repaying evil for good. Amongst all of that, David says “But I, when they were sick–I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest.” This part is so wondrous, “I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother.” Will we do this for the lost? For both the escorts and clinic workers? For the women who would say hateful things to us as they approach the clinic doors? To any escorts reading, may our love be evident to you in that. And may the Lord of all comfort be your only refuge.