Nothing in my life quite reveals my need for Jesus as sidewalk advocacy. Abortion-bound women face so many challenges, life issues, and sometimes dangers, too. In her decision to abort, there are often relationship factors, emotional pressures, lies she believes, circumstantial trouble, and a lack of support.
As a sidewalk advocate, I have a very short window of time in which to share that there is hope. Sometimes the fast car turning into the abortion clinic plays out slowly in my mind. There she is; a beautiful lady who has come to the conclusion that this dark place can solve her problems in a few short hours. If she could just get through the doors and have this procedure, she feels it would save her so much embarrassment and trouble.
Opening the car door, the woman makes her way to the door of Heritage Clinic for Women. With her eyes on the ground and a straight face, she thinks, “This is it.” But it doesn’t have to be.
As I reach out, I share the opposite of what she is being told. Abortion tells a woman that violent and hopeless solutions are acceptable in tough circumstances, and I tell her there is hope, support, and love for her in what may be the darkest hour of her life.
One particular abortion-minded woman ignored me on her way into the clinic. She came alone and looked young. Driving into the clinic with what must have looked like multitudes of people — some frowning and holding “My Body, My Choice” signs and others reaching out in love — it would have been overwhelming for anyone. But I was confident that despite what I could see, God was still at work.
Later that morning, the woman drove toward the exit of the abortion clinic and rolled her window down to talk with me. She shared more about herself and her life circumstances; she had two older children and didn’t think she wanted another one. Even with so much pro-choice pressure all around her, she bravely chose to protect the life of the child in her womb. In so doing, she defied the sign of death — “My Body, My Choice” — recognizing that it was not her body that almost died that morning.
Later she texted me, “I guess it was a blessing to see all of you because it changed my mind about what I was doing and how I knew that what I was doing was wrong. So, thank you.”
As we stand for life in the Grand Rapids community, we can be a voice for moms and babies like these two. Every day our words and actions can either cultivate a culture of life or can further the prevalent sense of darkness that is felt in our culture. If we will be truly prolife, we must be so every moment of the day, and not just when speaking to abortion-minded women.
We are not called to a moment of helping others, but to a lifestyle of advocacy.