Friday, June 9, 2017

When Children Proclaim the Glory of God, He Shines in the Darkest Places

This beautiful family, brand new volunteers, joined us on the sidewalks of the abortion center yesterday. The young children were full of energy, as young kids tend to be. I asked them if they would like the VERY important job of holding signs.

They nodded enthusiastically. I instructed them to turn the signs so car drivers could see them as they passed, and maybe jiggle them so drivers would notice them. The children listened with big eyes and eager smiles. I gave the parents some instructions and manuals to try to pass out to drivers, and gave them phone numbers of places to encourage women to get free ultrasounds, since our mobile ultrasound unit is out of commission for a few more days. I gave them a brief rundown of how a typical conversation could go if they stopped a car, but not to worry. I would keep an eye out, and hurry over to help.

Near the end of our time there, I was on the microphone ardently pleading with women to leave the abortion center. I glanced over at the family of volunteers. That precious family was all gathered around a car they had stopped. I saw them handing the literature to the woman, and pulling out a phone to give her the number of the ultrasound facility. Handing the microphone quickly to another counselor, I hurried over.

They had done everything perfectly. The woman wondered about free ultrasounds. The family gave her the resource I had encouraged them to program on their phone only a few minutes before. The woman did not want our literature, which was odd given that she wanted our resources. The wonderful family went back to their work on the sidewalk holding signs. I remained to counsel the woman further.

The woman wanted to know her options, and felt she needed to see her baby. I told her under no circumstances should she enter the abortion center. Their goal would be to encourage her to abort. Since I wasn't certain the local Pregnancy Resource facility would see her immediately, I gave her another number of a low cost clinic that does diagnostic ultrasounds. I don't think she was abortion minded, but she did not answer me directly at first. I could tell there was something deeply grieving her. So I asked her again, "Now, I just want to be sure. You do not intend to abort your child, correct?"

She paused and looked down.

"Honey," I said gently, "Have you had an abortion in the past?"
"I don't think I want to talk about this."
Sometimes, the Holy Spirit speaks loudly. This was one of those times. I knew that woman needed healing, and I knew there was only one place to find it. I also know from my own life that healing will not come if we do not realize we are wounded.

"I had an abortion, long long ago," I told her. "I know the pain and the sorrow."
Her eyes watered and she said, "Yes. I did have an abortion. It haunts me."
"I understand," I said. "It haunted me as well. I did not yet know God and I didn't even give it a moment's thought. It was just a clump of cells. I never thought of it as a baby, or where it was in its development. I didn't think of it at all. And no one tried to stop me, or tell me it was wrong. I had terrible nightmares, for years, but I had no idea why. And then, when I came to know Jesus as Lord, the first thing that came to mind that I needed to repent of was that abortion."

Her eyes never left my face.

I continued. "I didn't dare speak of it. I didn't share the shame and horror for decades. Not until very recently. The grief of that thoughtless act really never quite leaves me."

Here she looked very sad.

"So that's why I am  here doing what I do," I told her. "I don't want anyone to suffer as I suffered. I don't want anyone to look back and say no one was there telling her it was wrong, and she should not take the life of her own baby. But I will also tell you that while I have never forgotten what I did, I do have hope."

She leaned forward, her strangely amber colored eyes glistening.

"I know I will see that baby again in heaven. I know I am going there, and I know my child is there."
"Amen," she said.
"You will see your baby in heaven. Do you believe you are going to heaven?"
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I love God. And I am obedient and try to be good."
"You are going to heaven because you have earned it?" I asked.
She nodded.
"That's not what the Bible says. It says that all our works are as filthy rags. I mean, really, could we do anything good enough for the God who created the entire universe?"
"No, I guess not."
"Do you know that the Bible also says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God? Do you believe that is true?"
"Yes," she said. Her eyes watered again. Yes, I didn't need to convince her she was a sinner.
"Do you know what the Bible says is the penalty for sin?"
"Death. Eternal separation from God. If God is perfect, then He is a perfect judge. And would a perfect judge not expect that a law breaker pay a penalty for breaking the law?"
"So God has to punish our sin. A penalty must be paid. But the penalty is death, and He loves us. He has a problem, doesn't He? Remember, He is perfectly just, but He is also perfectly merciful. And he came up with a wonderful solution."

Her sorrowful look began to change to hopefulness.
I shared an analogy of a judge in a courtroom who has found a man guilty and has named the penalty. But instead of sending the criminal off to pay the penalty for his crime, the judge offers an incredible substitution. He will pay the penalty instead. The prisoner may go free.

She smiled. She knew of course where I was going with all this. "When Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of death for OUR sins, we have a choice. We can accept His offer or decline. If we accept, we are freed from the penalty. He paid it for us. If we decline, we will die for our sins, and we will be eternally separated from God.

"I can never remember if it is Romans 10:9, or Romans look it up...but it says:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

"You mean you have to say it out loud?" she asked.
"That's what the verse says. And by saying He is Lord of your life, you are saying you will abide by His desires...not your own. And then it says you must believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead."
"The resurrection."
"Yes. If He had not been raised from the dead, He would not have shown that death was overcome. His resurrection was prophesied and He fulfilled that. Satan was defeated forever by the risen Christ. Death would no longer have a hold on us. And if we claim Him as Lord, and believe He was raised, we are saved. Nothing else is required. We are secure and no one can take our salvation from us."

"So I need to say with my mouth He is Lord, and believe He rose again..."
"Yes, but only if you believe it. If you believe this is true, you can do that right now," I said. "Anyone can. Would you like to pray with me that prayer to God right now?"
"Yes," she said.

So right there, sitting in her car on the side of the road outside the abortion center where her first baby had died, she prayed that Jesus would enter her life and be her Lord.
"Thank you for everything," she said. She wrote down my name and number and promised to call if she needed anything.

The lovely volunteer family awaited me as I walked across the street back to them. The children beamed with joy when I told them that by holding those signs and daring to approach that woman, a baby was safe and a wounded soul was now beginning a walk of redemption with God.

"You kids have already done more than most adults who are Christians dare to do," our Cities4Life director, Daniel, said to the family. I gave each child a high-five.

Right before leaving, I saw a mama goose with a brand new little family go marching by. New life. New beginnings. New hope.
Please join us. We have need of more volunteers on weekday mornings. The rewards are eternal.
Contact me at

Titus 3:5

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

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