The Card

Their heads were down as they left the front entrance of Planned Parenthood on 16th Street.  He put his arm around her as if to protect her.  The scene was confusing with orange-shirted “deathscorts” and sidewalk counselors vying for the attention of the abortion-minded. Each had a role to play. The pro-life sidewalk counselors were armed with rosaries and pamphlets to inform those intending abortion of the dangers of abortion to their bodies and to their minds and Spirits.  The deathscorts ridiculed the pro-lifers and exhorted the abortion seekers to pay no attention to the "crazies".  Life was cheap to them -- disposable! In the background the prayer warriors said the rosary, kneeling on the still-frozen ground.            

I saw the young man and woman approaching on the sidewalk and fell in behind them.  As I came alongside the young girl I asked if they were considering an abortion.  The man indicated they were.  The girl remained silent, looking frightened.  For some miraculous reason our communication was uninterrupted.  I continued to walk with them, telling them of my own tragic abortions and the regret that followed.  How the guilt and sorrow of abortion is lived out daily for the rest of one’s life even beyond forgiveness and healing! How this was God's way of sending his love! The young man kept saying I didn't know the circumstances.  I agreed but told him we could provide whatever help was needed.  I focused on the dangers to his sister that came with this "choice." I told him some women die and some are left sterile while others sink into depression and self-destructive behavior.  It isn't natural to kill one’s child!  I begged him to consider the welfare of the sister he loved.  He thanked me for my time and started to cross the street to his car.  I reached into my pocket and handed him my card..  He said his name was Michael.  He stuffed my card into his pocket and hurried his sister into his car.  I felt so inadequate!  As I turned to go back to the abortion mill, my mind raced over what I had said and what I could have said that might have changed their minds.  My heart was broken.  It didn't appear I had made a dent in their resolve to abort this precious child of God.            

So often we have heard there is no limit to the good we can accomplish if we don't seek recognition. Perfect for this business of trying to save lives!  Rarely do we sidewalk counselors have any idea whether our efforts have been successful.  That is probably why so many of our brothers and sisters have stopped coming to the frontlines where the killing is taking place. No quick payoff here.   We pick ourselves up, try again and pray for the strength to continue, always looking for the words or the act that will touch a heart and save a life.            

It is four weeks later, and the phone rings. When I answer a small voice asks for Missy.  I say it's me.  She tells me her name is Crystal and her brother's name is Michael. After I gave Michael my card, they decided not have the abortion!  Praise God.  She is only 16 years old.  Her mother wants to talk to me to thank me for my support.  What a grace-filled moment!   A child is safe, and the family waits with great anticipation for the August birth of Allison. We will buy a stroller and car seat for the time when this little one comes home from the hospital, for the shower being planned.  God is good!  Crystal and Allison are safe. I say a soft prayer of thanksgiving, keeping a silent score against the children whose lives I have taken.  Knowing there is no way to make up for those tragic acts but trying hard.

Missy Smith

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