I have spent the larger part of my Wednesday night weeping. And when I leave for the Adoration chapel soon, it will be a flight of relief. I will run into the arms of Jesus and rest there for a while. And, perhaps, cry some more.
It was a delayed reaction from something I witnessed today on the sidewalk downtown Fargo, where abortions happen weekly. I was acclimating a newer pray-er on how things generally work on Wednesdays; where we stand, what we can and cannot do.
He was first to spot her and shift our attention. “She looks frightened,” he said. I got my sign ready — the one I made this summer with the heart in the center. It’s what I wish to communicate most of all when I’m there. “You are loved. Can we love you through this choice? There is a baby with a beating heart who deserves a chance at love, too. We love you both.”
We have time to squeak out one of those if we’re lucky. I did tell her she is loved and that I was so sorry.
I will always remember what she looked like: yellow hair, pink sweats, wild eyes, stunned and searching and scared. And I will always remember what I saw as she walked away from us and into the clinic, flanked by escorts in yellow vests. Her pink sweats were freshly stained with what looked to be urine. Did anyone else notice? Did the escorts realize it? To me, it was glaringly, hauntingly obvious.
Stunned, I couldn’t really process fully what I’d just witnessed right off. But it would come back soon enough.
When I left about an hour later, I talked with one of my friends who’d spent her shift at the far end of the sidewalk, where many of the women begin the arduous walk toward the dreaded building. For not even the most enthusiastic patient welcomes this journey. She’d seen an altercation of some kind between the woman and her…boyfriend? And it seemed, by my friend’s account, that he had forced her to go through with it.
By the time I caught her eye, she’d already been through trauma. From what we could tell, she had not chosen this and likely felt devastated, demoralized and defeated.
And, it appeared, her body may have reacted to that trauma by releasing urine. That’s the only explanation that seems to fit what we collectively witnessed. It’s also very likely that she came out of that facility in even worse shape than when she went in.
When things finally quieted down in my day, my mind zoomed to her and her soaked crotch and frightened look and to the boy who didn’t protect her and sent her down that sidewalk alone, save the strangers that had flocked to her to usher her into the facility, where her nightmare would continue.
I thought of her and I broke down. This precious child was in the middle of hell, and who would bring hope to her? Who would be there to help her heal? Who would calm her in her grieving?
It was so much to bear and I just let the tears engulf me. I pray to God that some of my tears became cleansing ointment to her soul, a trickle of hope felt from some distant place on the other side of our city, or wherever she ended up.
How can we not see her as a victim? How can we say, “Her body her choice?” given these kinds of scenarios? And sadly, she’s not the first nor last. It is never a happy day, no matter how much the escorts dance and smile and crank up their tunes and delight in their donuts and hot apple cider. It’s just not.
Now it’s absolutely true that God loves them, too. But at some point, I want to jump up and scream, “Enough!” Enough of the lies. Too many people have been maimed forever as a result of your deceitful slogans. With nothing left to hang onto, they cave. They cave to profit, to marketing, to feigned interest in their lives. How honest a business is that?
I’m venting. I need to vent. May I never become numb. May I never be so callous that I would not stop and have a bawling session at the sight of a young lady who wet her pants on the way into the abortion facility.
Lord, If it must be, break my heart over and over again for those you love who are enslaved to the mindset of the culture.
God help us all, and God be with this dear child tonight, and always.