Tuesday, January 12, 2016

When You Are Losing Hope...

While I was on the sidewalk of the abortion center yesterday, I received this text picture of a one-month-old child from a woman we counseled to choose life many months ago. This precious baby is wearing an outfit provided by Truth and Mercy Pro-life Ministries in a lavish baby shower they threw in partnership with Cities4life.

Two women chose life Monday while we pleaded on the freezing cold sidewalks outside the abortion center. Despite the bitter cold, I was warm since I was wearing my polar ice cap coat, ski pants, ski mittens, and arctic hat. (My sister always tells me it is never too cold for any outdoor activity, it is just a question of proper attire.)

It was so cold that one man's car battery died while he waited in the abortion center parking lot. Fellow counselor, Gordon, urged the man to push his car from the lot to the sidewalk. We could not help him by crossing into the private property parking lot, but if he could manage to push his car to us, we would help push-start his car. (By 'we,' I mean Gordon. I was of little help push-starting a car but I would be certain to hand the man our literature and tell him to get back in there and get that woman out of the abortion center.)

The man gave us a thumbs up, and then groaning, and moaning, managed to make it to the sidewalk where we waited. I walked alongside the car, literature in hand, waiting for the man to roll down his window. Gordon pushed the car till the battery sparked to life, and the man drove away.

I was sad I hadn't been able to hand the man our literature. The abortive woman he had transported in the balky car was still inside the center. Gordon told me not to worry. God has this. A few minutes later, the man returned, stopped to talk with Gordon, and took our literature to bring in to his sister who was there to abort her child. Love and care of our fellow human beings can open doors. Don't lose hope even when it seems hopeless. God has this.

Another man tried to drown me out as I called out to the women who were entering the abortion center. He parked his truck in front of me, opened his door, and blasted obnoxious and vile music. Our director, Daniel, heard my voice straining futilely to rise above the evil clamor and brought me a portable speaker.  My voice trumpeted with the portable speaker. "You can try to drown me out, but you will not drown out the voice of God, and He will speak. In the quiet darkness of night when you are all alone, He will come, and He will require an accounting of what you have done. This does not have to be a fearful encounter. You can repent, choose to follow God now, before it is too late."  The man finally closed his door, and drove away.

When I returned home, my computer broke. An entire file of valuable pictures had vanished. The Microsoft technician on the phone took two hours to fix it. She took remote control of my computer, and saw my many book documents, book cover files, and illustrations. Curious, she asked what all these files were for. I told her I was an author. A frustrated writer herself, she said she starts several projects, realizes they are awful, and quits. Her dream is to write a book, but she can never seem to get very far before giving up.

"That's your problem," I told her, "You quit too soon. Just write. Write no matter what, whether you are inspired or not. Then at the end you can revise, and edit, and cut out the bad parts, but like anything, writing takes dedication and hard work, and the will to just DO it."

She fixed my computer, found the lost file, and set everything right. It took all afternoon, but I was grateful. I thanked her, and asked if she would be sure to email me when her book was on the market. She told me she was inspired and would be sure to do so. And, she told me as soon as we got off the phone, she was going to buy my books.

Every one of those vignettes yesterday had a similar theme. When we have a message of hope, do not be afraid to express it. Love and hope can be inspirational, something as simple as a lovely little red dress on a baby that was slated to die can spark renewed vigor to proclaim life in a dark and frigid place. No matter how loudly evil clamors, the message of God's love and hope can rise above it. No matter how many times failure has dogged a dispirited path, the message of love and hope can reignite a dream.

Secondly, when there is a God-given task before you, DO IT. Don't wait for all the pieces to fall perfectly in place in your life before you put your hand to the grindstone. If the need is there, and God has called you, DO IT. 

Before the day had ended, I received yet another wonderful text. It was from a woman who chose life a few weeks ago. She had left an abusive situation and had been homeless, but was texting to tell me she had just secured an apartment. Cities4Life has been helping and advising of the basic logistics in making this miracle possible.

When we met this mama, she had told us there was no hope. She could see no way out other than abortion. And now....everything changed. She has no furniture, no earthly goods but a few clothes...but now she has shelter, a church that will be mentoring and walking alongside her in her area, and the joy of the baby she cannot wait to meet.

Do not quit too soon. Follow God, no matter what, whether you understand where He is leading or not. Life is filled with plot revisions, and few of us get it right in every instance, but that should never keep us from writing our story with a message of hope and love. You never know who might be inspired by our example just as they were ready to give up.

Charlotte area friends, we have a wonderful opportunity for you to help meet this brave mama's needs. We need  someone with a large van or truck and the time to transport furniture to a location 2 hours from Charlotte probably next week. Please contact me if God is saying DO IT to you.

Isaiah 41:10 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

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