It is 40 Days for Life 2014 and I am sad. A gray, tall fence surrounds the Little Rock Family Planning facility, which performs abortion procedures five days a week now.
The parking lot around the facility, with the exception of a few cars here and there, is empty and void, save for the long-haired security guard sitting at the front door. Why is there a guard? The facility's mission is not about preserving the dignity of valuable human life. No one there will console a broken woman’s spirit. The situation is hopelessly contradictory; the mothers- to -be are aided by the facility’s “human resource department" to forsake their own and their unborn child’s God given human dignity and the precepts of natural law.
As I walked a bit down the sidewalk to join the others in group prayer, I glance at the guard, who looks at us curiously. Prayers and sidewalk counselors are here everyday. The facility had been spraying counselors with a fence mounted high-powered sprinkler, but today it is not there. Maybe they finally took the hint: We are not going away.
As I stand shoulder to shoulder with brethren for the closing of this wretched place and to spare the lives of babies and the sanity of their mothers, a medical supply truck slips into the driveway loaded with oxygen tanks for the ghastly procedures. A woman drives up and asks for directions. One of the sidewalk counselors said we were here praying. The woman drives on as if we were not standing there and she did not hear.
I am sad because as I offered prayers and asked the Blessed Mother to pray for the conversion of souls in the clinic, I hear blue jays and mockingbirds singing. As I listen to their lovely chirps, I start to cry; they have freedom to sing and be carefree; the babies do not. My mind is a sea of questions. How did we get here, morally and consciously? What has happened to our love for ourselves and our neighbor? Then I remember Jesus' disciples when it started to storm into their boat.
Then something bright happens. A woman outside the clinic is listening to the sidewalk counselor. She looks at us then to her cell phone. In a couple of minutes, a car drives in over to the woman. She gets in and as the car exits, a hand reaches out to take some literature from the counselor.
Today, there are tornado watches in the forecast. As we leave under the gray skies, one of my prayer partners said, “This is such a sad place.” Another said, “I hope we touched at least one heart today.”
I hear a still small voice. I know all about what's happening. I hear yours and your loved ones storming heaven with your petitions.
“Be not afraid.”
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