Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Betrayal

Contemplating God, Oil Painting framed, 16x31, available
It was sweltering on the sidewalks of the abortion center yesterday. That didn't seem to hurt business though. At least fifty babies were brought there to die. One interaction in particular broke my heart. My heart breaks often there, of course, but sometimes it breaks more than other times.

This time, it involved a woman who came off an RV up the street that provides free ultrasounds. She got in her car, and drove toward us. I always try to intercept anyone who leaves that RV and heads our way toward the abortion center. Hard as it is to believe, they have just seen their baby on the ultrasound and if they are headed our way, they usually still intend to abort.

I put on my most compassionate smile, and flagged down her car. She stopped.
"I see you just came off that mobile ultrasound unit. Did you see your baby's heartbeat?"
"Yes," she said, "I heard it too. Here is the picture." She smiled and I was encouraged. If she was showing me the ultrasound photo proudly, she must have chosen life!
"Congratulations, how far along are you?"
She told me.
"And you have chosen not to abort?"
She nodded. "I am still conflicted, but I don't think I will abort."
"What changed your mind?"
"It's wrong."
We had a long conversation. She told me she wanted the lavish baby shower we offer moms, gave me her email to send her daily Bible verses, and then prayed with me. She even took one of our 'blessing bags', a gift bag we give to all the moms who choose life.

As I stepped back, she drove on down the street, and passed the driveway into the abortion center. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Then we noticed far down the street, instead of turning to follow the street out of the area, she turned left into a cul de sac of businesses. I figured she was lost, so headed down the street to meet her as she came out of the cul de sac. As I waited, she didn't emerge, so I finally returned to my fellow sidewalk counselors.

"She went in the center," Chrissy told me mournfully.
"What?? I never saw her drive by!"
Chrissy pointed to the hill overlooking the abortion center. She had parked up there in the business park, then scrambled down the hill to sneak into the abortion center.

Obviously she was filled with guilt to go to all that trouble to avoid me. I was devastated. I had been completely snookered by her lies. I had totally believed her. For goodness sake, she had prayed with me as I lauded her decision to follow God and her conscience in choosing life.

Three women did choose to let their babies live Monday and each of them received a blessing bag too. One who I counseled on the RV was overjoyed to see her baby, and is excited to schedule the baby shower welcoming her little miracle to the world. Those three mamas seemed to have made a genuine commitment. I praise God for those victories, but my heart is still mourning. How could I have so misread that first woman, been so misled by what I believed to be sincerity and true conviction of her spirit to do what she knew was the right thing to do?

How could she have prayed with me, knowing she intended to defy the very God she was pretending to honor with prayer in the next few minutes?

How could Judas kiss Jesus, knowing he would betray him within the hour? 

Betrayal is one of the hardest things on earth to deal with. As Chrissy stood beside me, I said, "It would be easy to become cynical and jaded here."
She nodded.

Jesus didn't become cynical or jaded however. He forgave. He went to the cross anyway, knowing full well the capacity for evil of every human heart. He died for us while we were yet sinners that we might live.

I am made in His image. We all are. I am to reflect His character as best I can. I will not become cynical or jaded. I will choose to love and to forgive. I have that woman's email, and I will send her Bible verses each day as I promised and pray God works a miracle in her heart. I choose the way of the Master.
 
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Proverbs 19:5 

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ...

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

But Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”



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