Every year during 40 Days for Life, supporters of our state’s local abortion facility here in Fargo get together in the quiet of night — or some such time when chances of detractors showing up are decreased, I’d imagine — for a sidewalk chalk party.
I think the message they are sending must be more for the prayer advocates and others who find themselves on that particular corner of our city, because I can’t imagine the women themselves stopping to look.
If they did take the time to study the colorful drawings, they would find messages telling them how loved they are, how supported they are, and other warm-fuzzy sorts of sentiments.
Some of the thoughts shared, we prayer folks would agree with. Yes, women do matter. Yes, they are loved. Yes, they deserve to be respected. Problem is, a pretty drawing can’t mask the horror of what goes on inside a place like this.
From the outside, it might not seem as such. Another day in the life of an abortion clinic. Women go in and come out with their baggie of post-abortion materials, and move right back into their lives without skipping a beat, right? Well, we’ll get to the skipped beat part later. But truly, from what I’ve heard from post-abortive friends, for many, the trauma doesn’t kick in full force until later, when they are alone and facing the reality without people nearby to wipe their tears; when there are no more colorful pictures to deflect what has happened. A life…forever gone.
I wanted to share what lengths these supporters will go through to mark up the sidewalk, so I took this long shot.
I didn’t even see at the time the escort’s position over the heart. But as I prayed today, I thought more and more about the hearts that were splashed everywhere on the sidewalk. Just yesterday, a friend posted how scientists have recently discovered that a heartbeat is detectable at 16 days gestation. This is even earlier than previously thought.
So to me, the hearts on the sidewalk downtown symbolize the real heart and its accompanying heartbeat that signals life; a sound bound to stop soon after entering this door. Not to mention the broken hearts that inevitably will follow.
All of these cheery messages? They’re a cover-up for the grisly goings-on of this clinic.
When my friend, who has been one of the clients in the past and now speaks against the horrific act of abortion, saw the drawings this morning, she was troubled. A few were particularly vulgar, including a chalk-drawn diagram of a woman’s vagina pointing out the various parts, marked with the words “bodily autonomy” in bold. But that wasn’t the one that bothered my friend most of all.
No, the one that really got to her, one who has been in this place before? Was this…
Consider its placement — right in front of the door that leads directly into the place where children die and mother’s cry. My friend was blunt. She called it “the door of hell.” Because for her and others, it was every bit that. It was the place where they watched a life that they had held in their wombs slip away, forever; an action that is irreversible — though not, with repentance, unforgivable.
Hearts, sunshine and rainbows at the door of a place that dooms its clients to a life of sorrow. To those of us whose blinders have been removed, by the grace of God, these images are a sad testimony of the twisted nature of death that comes in a pretty package.
Lord have mercy on those who are deceived. And Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. Help us all.
Here’s some good news. For those in the area, the 40 Days for Life United tour bus will be coming through here on Friday. The buses on this entourage are being covered by the signatures of those across the country who stand for life, like this woman, U.S. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn — chair of the House panel leading the investigation into Planned Parenthood’s horrible practice of harvesting and trafficking in aborted baby body parts. (I guess this is the pro-life version of marking up surfaces to get our point across?) Join us from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center Park, 165 4th St. N., Fargo. You’ll hear national leaders share their stories of hope, along with local speakers, including a friend of mine, who will be sharing as a representative of the Silent No More campaign.
So far during this fall’s prayer efforts, 154 babies have been saved from the clutches of abortion. It’s working. Our prayers do not fall on deaf ears, and our active participation makes a difference.
Today’s psalm also brought a ray of hope my way. I thought of the sunshine painted by the sidewalk chalk “artist,” and knew that I could claim a share of truth in that image for myself with these words from Scripture:
“Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.”
Q4U: Where and how have you brought light to others this week?