At that moment, just after I snapped this picture, a runner zoomed by and the deer dashed away. I had been granted a rare inter-species encounter, and felt blessed.
Rare inter-species encounters. That is what my new book is about! And guess what???
My new book just went live on Amazon! You can purchase it by clicking HERE.
I loved writing this book. It was my escape into fantasy when I learned of my cancer diagnosis and went through two surgeries. I wasn't sure I would have it in me to write a funny book, but it is funny. Maybe not laugh-out-loud funny. More like smile-and-feel-happy funny. It has a deeper message, too. A message about God.
Anyway, I think you will like it.
The morning before my book went live, I was at the abortion center sidewalk, trying to convince women to choose life. One mama did, but the more compelling story of the day involved a mama who did not.
I saw two young girls leave the abortion center and park up the road. They got out of their car and appeared to be conferring over what to do next. I walked up the hill to them.
"Hi," I said, "I can offer you a free ultrasound and pregnancy test. Are you interested?"
The younger one, who looked twelve, but was probably older glanced at her friend. (I later learned the friend was her sister.)
As we walked back down the hill to the HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center RV with the mobile ultrasound unit inside, I asked K to tell me her circumstances.
"I had an abortion," she told me.
"I see. How are you dealing with it?" I asked.
"I am fine. Jesus and I are dealing with it."
"I have some literature for women who have aborted," I told her, "It can help down the road."
"I don't need it," she said, tight-lipped, staring straight ahead.
"So what brings you here now?" I asked.
"I don't feel right. The abortion was a month ago. I think I might still be pregnant. Can you tell me if I am or if there are problems?"
Our nurse is not allowed to diagnose, but I wasn't sure what to do in this case. I have been on the sidewalks over 2 1/2 years now, and this was a first for me. I decided this young lady with the tight mouth, and rigid features needed love, and Sherry, the nurse, would know what to do.
"I am not sure," I told K, "Let's go on the RV and see what our nurse can do. She can't diagnose, only a doctor can do that, but let's find out what your options are."
I touched her arm gently. I myself don't like to be touched, but for some reason, when people are hurting, I am compelled to touch them.
"I know you said you are dealing with it...but oftentimes, people who abort feel differently months or even decades later. Why don't you take this pamphlet, just in case? My name and number is on it in case you ever want to talk."
She looked briefly at me, and then reached out her hand. "OK."
Her story was tragic. She was not old enough to abort without her parent's permission, so she got a court order that she could do so without consent from her parents. Did you know that is legal?? A minor child can ask the court to grant her an injunction specifying the right to an abortion without her parents consenting or even knowing. That chills every fiber of my being. This poor young girl was then told by the abortion center that they suspected she had an ectopic pregnancy. The terrified girl didn't even know what that was!
Did the abortion clinic send her immediately to the Emergency Room or a trained physician to properly diagnose this potentially life threatening condition? Did they suggest the frightened girl talk to her mother? NO. They told her to come back in two weeks and they would recheck her. She did. They did an ultrasound, found the baby in her womb, and aborted her child.
Now she was having unusual symptoms. She didn't feel right. She was scared. Could it have been ectopic after all, and they missed it? Neither she, nor her very concerned sister knew what an ectopic pregnancy was but they knew it was bad.
This exposes one of the immediate travesties of a judge determining a child can abort her baby without her parents' knowledge, consent, protection, or guidance. If I sound furious, it is because I am incensed. First, the incalculable damage of undermining the authority and fabric of a family by our legal system makes my blood boil. Secondly, If the abortion centers cared about women's health, why did they not do what any ethical health provider would have done?
Sherry did a pregnancy test, which indicated the girl was not pregnant. Nonetheless, Sherry advised that K immediately go to an OB/GYN she trusted and be sure to be fully examined. She told her the only completely accurate pregnancy test was a blood test. The girl agreed to contact her doctor immediately, and the sister nodded. Then the sister looked at me and asked, "Do you think that someone who aborts their baby will go to hell?"
I had prayed that morning, as I do every morning before I head off to the sidewalk, that God would give me the openings to share His message of hope and redemption. The sister's question was a wide open door.
"That's a great question," I told her. I looked at her, but out of the corner of my eye, I could see the taut muscles of K's face stiffen even more. She was staring fixedly at me.
"The Bible says that the penalty of sin, all sin, is death. God takes sin so seriously that He cannot tolerate it at all if we are to be in a relationship with Him. In fact, the Bible says that all our works are as filthy rags to a holy, righteous God. Sin must be punished, and the punishment is death, eternal separation from God. However, God loves us. He doesn't want anyone to perish. So He sent Jesus, who willingly took upon Himself the punishment we deserved. Jesus was completely sinless, but He offered to die in our stead. And He died a gruesome death. Being crucified was the most horrific way to die known to man at the time. He paid a great price for us. All He asked in return was that we would first of all, recognize the enormity of our sin and how much it cost Him. Secondly, that we would repent and feel deep sorrow over our sin, and thirdly, that we would accept what He offered. He paid the penalty, but we had to accept what He had done for us. If we do, our sin is washed away. He paid the price for every sin- past, present, and future. If we truly believe and understand this, we do not want to sin because we know how much He suffered for us. But we can be assured that we will have eternal life. So to answer your question, no, I don't believe that someone who aborts their baby will go to hell if they truly understand the magnitude of their sin, truly repent and sorrow for what they did, truly desire to live the life God wants us to live, and believes and accepts the gift Jesus offers by dying in our stead."
Or something like that. You get the idea. It is all on the fly, and I was deeply emotional. I always am when I share the gospel. Each time, I am thinking of my own sin, and how cavalierly I treated God before I really knew Him.
K's sister nodded. "We're Catholic," she told me.
"Ah. Well the Catholics do consider abortion to be a mortal sin," I told her, "But I am telling you what the Bible says about sin."
"I agree with you," she said, "I have always questioned that part of their teaching."
I may have imagined it, but K' s face seemed to relax a little. Sherry and I talked a little more, including how God's rules and commands are to protect us.
"Do you know what He says about sex outside of marriage?" I asked K.
She gazed at me without responding.
"The Bible is clear that sex should only be between a man and woman within the confines of marriage. This is not because God wants to spoil our fun. Your terrible situation right now would not have happened if you had followed that guidance. His rules are to help us."
As they left, I watched them walk back up the street. They were talking. I pray they were talking about God, and His love, and the truths they had just heard. Sometimes, God seems so distant. He is an alien species, too vast and incomprehensible for us to truly wrap our minds around. The fact that He loves us and wants us to be with Him boggles my mind.
I thought of the deer I had seen in the morning, stepping towards me. What an unlikely friend!
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.