Off and on for the past two days I have been waiting for an eaglet to hatch. You can watch Harriet, the mama eagle by clicking HERE. It is strangely addictive. I had a good bit of editing work to do, but it was hard to turn off the eagle live stream. Most of the time, nothing happens except she sits on her eggs in the hot sun panting.
But then there are thrilling moments when she stands, carefully rolls her eggs over, and then tucks them back beneath her. I cannot get over what a conscientious mother she is. She is clearly in discomfort. Her nest is in Florida, and it must be very hot. Her entire back is heaving as she pants. Gnats crawl in her eyes and hover about her face. She sits there for hours. The daddy eagle relieves her about every five hours. My guess is she dashes immediately to get a drink of water, and maybe catch a juicy mouse.
Then she is right back at it. Unless the daddy eagle is warming the eggs in her stead, she will not leave her nest till the eggs are hatched. Supposedly this was supposed to happen Tuesday, but it has not yet occurred. Every few minutes, despite my to-do list, I check in with Harriet. Is the baby here yet??
I cannot help but contrast this to what happens every day but Sunday at the abortion center in our city where I volunteer as a pro-life sidewalk counselor. So many mamas lining up each morning. Unlike Harriet, their mission is not to guard their young with their very life and disregard their own comfort and safety to bring their babies into the world. Their goal is to destroy their progeny, and pay for the privilege to do so. Instead of the daddy swooping in to protect and relieve and provide for her during her pregnancy, the daddy stands on the porch, often smoking a cigarette, and joking with the other daddies while his child is meeting a violent end in the back room of the center. Many have coerced a reluctant girlfriend to abort.
Yesterday, I received a text from one of the mamas who initially chose life but sadly returned to the abortion center. We are certain the daddy coerced her to abort, but she had not been truthful about why she had returned to the abortion center. (Told us she was there for a friend.) Clearly she was distraught, and ashamed. I knew she was lying to me, but strangely, she continued to contact me. I did my best to keep the doors of communication open, and to assure her our ministry would be there for her, that she was not alone.
Fear, shame, and coercion so often dog these women when they return to their homes after choosing life for their babies. It is why a mentorship program and follow-through by Cities4Life and others is so critical. However, the harvest is huge and the workers (and funds!) are few. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the women cannot withstand the pressure from their support systems to abort, and they succumb. It is always deeply grievous to us.
The text from this mama described what sounded like a botched abortion though she told me she "miscarried". Hemorrhaging, a uterine tear, and a trip to the ER ending in surgery. She is staying in touch with me, so I feel God has a role for me yet in her life, but my heart breaks for her. I know she did not want to abort, and now, what devastation! My prayer is that she would be honest with me, and trust me. Then perhaps I can point her to the only true comfort we have in God. I have little doubt that the abortion center will not be reporting this as something they did wrong.
Later in the day, I got another text from another mama I work with. She had just had the 3-D ultrasound provided by Cities4Life donors through a wonderful arrangement with Sweet Pea 3-D Imaging in Concord. We needed to know the gender so we could provide a lavish baby shower with all the baby's needs for the first two years of life. We love to encourage the mamas by providing them with the very realistic 3-D images of their baby, an expense most cannot afford on their own.
That sweet baby will also be born to a mother that will need the help and mentorship of Cities4Life supporters. We are determined not to leave these moms hopeless and alone in terrible circumstances. Our goal is to help them make life-changing choices to pull them out of the spiritual and material mess they find themselves.
(Would you like to help us? Right now a generous businessman has offered matching funds to donations through December 31. Go to https://connect.egiving.
As the day turned to night, I watched the daddy eagle swoop in to the nest. Mama stood up wearily, and hopped to the edge of the enormous nest. The daddy stood over the eggs, gently pushed them under his warm breast, and settled onto them. The camera followed the mama eagle as she stretched her wings and flew off into the distance.
How necessary the mother and father are! How critical an intact family is in raising young! How important self-sacrifice is in healthy, abundant life. So many lessons that even the birds can teach us.