A View from the Sidewalks

A group of sidewalk counselors that peacefully witness for life outside of abortion mills update this blog periodically to give like-minded believers specific prayer needs and encouraging stories of God's goodness.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Holy Saturday Miracles in Dallas

“Pray for the girl in the truck. She’s reading the literature I gave her.” I motioned towards the truck as I spoke to Joe, Holly and Oscar, and the Christians formed a circle and began to pray. I held back– hoping that mother and daughter, talking and reading the literature and looking at the photos of pre-born babies, would choose life. I didn’t want them to feel pressured, but I was torn – should I say something? I knew that the Holy Spirit could speak to them more powerfully than I. Yet, when the doors of the vehicle opened, I knew that it was time for me to act. “Are y’all Christians?” I asked. I had seen their bumper sticker, “God Bless America” and hoped to engage them in conversation. Mother and daughter both assured me that they were Christians. “Well, then you know abortion is wrong, don’t you?” Mother took charge of the conversation, admitting that she knew abortion wasn’t a good choice, but assuring me that I did not understand their situation. “You know - you’re right. I have no idea what your situation is. But I know this – God works in the midst of life’s most difficult circumstances. It’s in those tough times that the Lord makes us stronger and blesses us and shapes our character.” Mother went on to explain how her daughter already had two babies and that she herself suffered from nearly unbearable physical problems. “Anyway” she said, “It’s not a baby.” It might surprise the reader to know, that in all my years of pro-life work and sidewalk-counseling, I have almost never heard an abortion-bound person claim that the life about to be extinguished was not a baby. “Not a baby?” I looked over at the young mother and asked her gently, “How far along are you? Do you know?” She had such a sweet face – the tender face of a child and a mother. She told me of her pregnancy and we talked about her baby. I called her baby “she” and spoke of her already-beating heart and of the fact that her little fingers and toes were already forming. Mother interrupted. “Well, it’s not a baby yet,” she exclaimed. “Not a baby yet? What about Psalm 139 where God proclaims that He knitted us together in our mother’s womb? What about John the Baptist, leaping for joy in his mother’s womb in the presence of Jesus, himself pre-born, alive in the womb of Mary?” Mother had no answer. She looked at me and smiled. “You must be an angel,” she said, as a tear welled in her eye. “My name is Michael.” Mother began to crumble. She told me how hard her life was and that I did not understand. We hugged, and I assured her that she was not alone. Her daughter seemed to gain strength, even as she spoke in a near whimper. “Mommy, I don’t want to do this. Let’s leave here.” The struggle had not ended. Mother said, “No. We’ve got to at least go inside and talk to the people.” She reached for her daughter’s hand. Her daughter resisted and replied ever more forcefully, “No – let’s go to this other place (The White Rose Center; staffed by Christians.) I want to see my baby on the ultra-sound.” Mother scowled, “I am mad at you Michael” even as she made her way back to the driver’s side of the vehicle. I motioned to Joe. “Joe, go ahead and get in your car. Get ready to lead them to the White Rose.” Before departing, this sweet mother hugged me – her embrace was one of thankfulness and joy. She had chosen life because Christians prayed and acted in loving obedience to God. And she was not the only one who had chosen life on Holy Saturday, 2006, at the Fairmount Center in Dallas. There was yet another. I cried that day.

Michael
Rockwall, Texas

8 Comments:

  • At 1:03 PM, Blogger Fredi said…

    What a beautiful testimony! Your Christian response was awesome.
    God bless you Michael-Gabrielle.

    Fredi

     
  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Shannon said…

    You managed to make life more painful for a mother who couldn't care for her daughter's children due to physical problems and created more financial burden on a family already suffering illness and other hardships. Not to mention the fact that the daughter already had children at home and couldn't handle another one, otherwise she wouldn't have been looking for a way to ease the pressure.

    I suppose you people are going to personally take in, raise and provide for all of these babies that you coerce women into having (that can't afford to have them or have some kind of other issue, otherwise they wouldn't be looking for an abortion to begin with)?

    Are you going to pay for their medical care, clothing, equipment for special needs children and put them all through college?

    Are you going to teach them, guide them, step in for their absentee fathers, or provide free around-the clock babysitting when their mothers have to work 2 or 3 jobs to support them?

    Are you going to provide anything more for their development than christian generated guilt and stigma?

    Of course not.

    You people neither know or care what it's like to be a single mother with an abusive ex husband (or boyfriend), who isn't helping you at all with your child's expenses, and a family you can't go to for help.

    Is that a healthy environment to raise a baby in? Would you really rather see a child brought into that than aborted?

    Because I've lived through it and you have no idea how it feels to have to choose between buying food and buying medicine. Or to have to choose between buying a coat for your child and paying your heating bill. Or having the utilities turned off because the pantry was empty and you had no choice but to put off paying the bills in order to buy food.

    Have you ever had to go without food so your children could eat or feel the humiliation of asking someone to let you have some until payday, knowing that you might not be able to repay them because you had bills and rent due in the same week?

    Have you ever had to make the choice between taking care of things yourself and starving while doing it, or going back to the abusive ex and being provided for, but abused?

    There are far worse things than abortion.

    It's easy to pass judgement and force christianity on people, but unless you've experienced this type of thing yourself you have no idea what another person is struggling with.

    You have good intentions, but in some cases what you're doing is far more harmful than helpful.

    Because only babies and pregnant mothers can get help. My son was nine and I couldn't get assistance with anything because I was working. Not housing, not income...nothing.

    Believe me when I tell you an animal shouldn't even have to live the life my son and I had while his father and I separated and divorced.

    As I said, there are far worse situations. I hope you never have to live through one.

    Then you'll really know what it's like to have to make painful choices.

     
  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger A View From the Sidewalks said…

    Some things are far worse than abortion.


    Is adoption a thing far worse than abortion?

     
  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger A View From the Sidewalks said…

    Shannon,


    I am a social worker and if you still need help, please let me know. I know of very few organizations that only help needy mothers and babies. There are other resources out there that can help.

    I'm sorry that you and your son endured what you did but because this baby was allowed to live instead of brutally killed doesn't mean that this will happen to him/her. Adoption is an option and there IS help out there. I know for a fact because I provide such help.

    I don't think women should have to choose between killing their children and watching them do without, or doing without themselves so their children can have. I don't think you should have to choose between those evils. Real help is the answer.

    In rightful defense of the sidewalk counselor: He saved a child from a horrible death and a mother from complete heartbreak. He also led them to help for their situation. He didn't do anything wrong-quite the contrary.

    Please email me personally if I can help with anything:
    jacquefromtexas@yahoo.com

    -Jacqueline

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Shannon said…

    Jaqueline,

    Thank you, but my situation is very different now.

    I don't know which state you're in (I live in Maryland), and I would have been so relieved to find some real help. I went to social services, I spoke to WIC, and I even tried to get housing. The best they could do was temporary help, which would take up the slack for me - IF I could guarantee that I would be making more money in the next six months and would be able to drop the service.

    I was making minimum wage at both jobs and couldn't honestly make that promise.

    The list for housing was so long I wouldn't even have been considered for two years and I was making too much money to qualify for anything else, like WIC (food stamps, etc.).

    If the state laws where you live allow you to do more, I commend both them and you.

    Everywhere I turned I hit a brick wall.

    Eventually I gave up trying and found myself with no choice but to move in with my parents, which was just as hideous, as my father and brother sided with the ex. I didn't want to send my son to live with relatives (though for awhile I did consider that because I didn't want him to go without anything he needed, my lawyer advised me that if I did this it would give the ex all the ammo he needed to take full custody), or give custody over to his father (who did not pay any child support for ten months in an attempt to make me come back), so my options were severely limited.

    As I said, if you have more to offer than that I commend you. I wish I had access to that help when I really needed it.

     
  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger A View From the Sidewalks said…

    Hey Shannon-

    Yep. That's the infuriating aspect of government assistance. It's not the state laws, its the nature of government assistance. Texas has less than Maryland. But private organizations can often times be more helpful. Faith-based organizations (which is my professional niche) will lovingly serve anyone who needs it if they are able. It's just the finding these places that's difficult.

    Any help you would have gotten from faith-based would have been temporary but with some assistance changing your situation (getting job training for better-paying work, more child support). They wouldn't drop you until they'd changed your circumstances.

    I'm sorry you went through that and I'm glad you're in a better position now. If you know of anyone that's ever in a similar spot, please, please email me and let me know how I can help. I'm at abbywomenscenter@gmail.com.

    I don't mean to be crass, but even with all your son had to go through, do you think he'd be better off dead? Abortions don't not create children- they just kill kids that are already created, often because of temporary circumstances like yours. That's what we want to see stop. We want real help for women, not taking 400 of their dollars and leaving them poor on the street.

    -Jacqueline

     
  • At 2:13 PM, Blogger Shannon said…

    My son was already nine years old when we went through this, so abortion wasn't an option.

    Neither was adoption, which was mentioned earlier. I had him because I loved and wanted him - why should I have adopted him out at age nine when all I really wanted was to improve our circumstances and give him a good life?

    Also, I think any faith-based help I would have gotten would depend directly upon whether I was already christian or willing to convert, and I think it would be completely wrong for any woman to pretend to be christian in order to get help from a church.

    Non-christians have prinicples, too. Or at least, we all should. That's why I didn't try to get help from a faith-based organization. I was under so much pressure and dealing with so much stress from the breakup of my marriage and the awful situation we were in I didn't want to compound it by adding religious baggage to an already painful ordeal.

    I did consider it for a very short time (while I was trying to weigh my options), and you're right, it is unbelievably hard to find anything other than government assistance - not that they actually assist all that much.

     
  • At 6:24 PM, Blogger A View From the Sidewalks said…

    Hi, Shannon!

    Oh, I should have been more clear in that I was suggesting that you should have placed your 9 year old for adoption. I was referring to the pregnant woman in the unfortunate situation. I don't think adoption is a solution for poverty. I beleive strongly that we should help the parents of the child. However, when a parent is convinced that he/she can not have a good life herself or give the child a good life, then I think adoption is a wonderful alternative to killing the child by abortion.

    About being a Christian or willing to convert, it's actually against the law and against the morality of Christian organizations to deny services to anyone based on that person's religion or lack thereof. Discrimination is not at all allowed. Yes, they most likely will share the gospel with you because they care about you eternally, but they're not going to deny you services because of your religion. A hard-core Satanist can walk into the food pantry where I work and he/she would still get a box of groceries because we love them and don't want to see them hungry. We do use the services we provide as a way to share the salvation found in Jesus Christ with people because we beleive that Christ is the only way to Heaven and that those who don't receive Him will spend eternity apart from Him in Hell. To not share this with people in our opinion would be the most unloving thing we could do. Of course non-Christians look at that as encroachful, but our primary concern is not popularity. Our primary concern is the temporary and eternal well-being of our clients.

    In regard to something powerful that you said:
    "why should I have adopted him out at age nine when all I really wanted was to improve our circumstances and give him a good life?"

    I wholeheartedly agree! That is all we are trying to do, Shannon. You recognize that all you had to do was change your circumstances to give your son a good life. These women that want to abort because of their circumstances are making a permanent decision for a temporary problem, and it's a permanent decision that costs a human life. We want to help them improve their circumstances and give themselves and their children good lives. When they are not convinced of their capacity to do that, adoption remains an alternative to a dead baby and a possible lifetime of regret.

    I'm so glad you wrote back! Do you know that I'm still looking for that "A Child is Born" book?!? The library was supposed to have it on hold for me but can't seem to find it. I might should just buy a copy as wonderful as you say it is. I'll let you know when I track it down.

    Please stay in touch.

    -Jacqueline

     

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