February 2015

sun

I had a remarkable conversation with a young lady today; the kind that almost always and only occurs outside of an abortion clinic.

I was standing alone in front of Everett Planned Parenthood, grateful to God for the warmth of the sunshine and its confirmation that He has faithfully kept His promise since the days of Noah—fulfilled in the annual rebirth of life­—the miracle that is spring. The sunshine and lovingkindness of God were all the warmer in contrast to where I stood and the reason I stood there. The sidewalks and streets were strangely empty, devoid of the usual hustle and bustle downtown at midday. And so, as a young lady turned the corner and walked directly toward me it seemed to complete the metaphor in my mind; as if she had freshly sprung up from the Earth. I greeted her with a smile saying, “I have some important information here for you.” Offering the pamphlet in my hand I added, “There are some things you may not know about Planned Parenthood.” She politely took the papers and said, “Can I ask you a question?” “Of course,” I answered. “What is wrong with abortion?” she asked. I have been asked this or a similar question many times. It is seldom asked with sincerity. I will often reflexively turn the question (and sometimes the questioner) on its head by asking, “What is right with abortion?” Yet something, perhaps it was the tone of her voice or a faint sadness in her eyes, assured me that her question was genuine. I introduced myself as David and she said her name was Ravon. I told her that I could explain two of the many things that are wrong with abortion but that the first and primary thing she could likely tell me, by simply answering a few questions. I asked her, “Were you you yesterday?” She looked a little puzzled but answered, “Yes.”  “Were you you ten years ago?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied. I continued, “How about the day you were born? Were you you?”  “Yes,” came her answer. “How about the day before you were born, when you were still in your Momma’s belly?” I asked, smiling. She smiled back and said, “Yes.” Ravon understood where this was going.

I asked her if there was a time when she didn’t exist and she agreed that it was before conception. I then asked her if she knew of any other context where the word “abort” was used. We spoke of the military “aborting” a mission and NASA “aborting” a rocket launch. I explained that the simple meaning of the word is to end something that is in progress and abortion ends a life that, like you, is in progress. That is the primary thing that is wrong with abortion.

At this point Ravon told me she had an abortion at 16 and that she was scarred by it. I asked her as gently as I could if she knew why she was scarred. She confessed that she knows that she took the life of her child that day. She shared how she had worked for five years in a daycare to try and ease her regret. I told her, “That is the second thing that is wrong with abortion; it wounds mothers and enslaves them in unimaginable sorrow for committing an unthinkable sin.”

We spoke for a long while and in great depth about the most personal and yet universal things: the deception and consequences of sin and the deliverance, redemption, and healing we all need. As she turned to go she said, “Thanks for not thumping me with the Bible like some other people I have talked to.” I replied, “Wait!” Reaching into my bag, I pulled out a copy of the Gospel of John and “thumped” her on the shoulder a few times with it. She took it from me with a smile and walked away into the sunshine, leaving me standing alone again; overwhelmed with gratitude for the miracle of spring and the greater miracle of His lovingkindness.

“For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations.” – Psalm 100:5