Thursday, June 29, 2006
Between work and car problems it has been difficult getting to the abortion clinic to sidewalk counsel these past two weeks. Last week, I was there three mornings, and this week only two mornings. The good news is that business seems to be down for the abortionist. Hurray!
Very few Muslims come for abortions in this predominately Muslim neighborhood. So, last week when a Muslim man and woman came on to the sidewalk headed for the abortion clinic, that took me by surprise. She would not look at me, but he took my card with information on where to go for free health services at a CPC. He came out of the clinic to smoke. I followed him to the bar parking lot. I asked him if he brought her for an abortion. He said, "Yes, but she is my friend's girlfriend and he begged me to take her here." I know that is a lie! I asked what he thinks about abortion. He told me that he is a "man of God", and does not agree with it. I asked him if he feels that he is an accomplice to the killing by bringing her here. He shrugged. We talked some more, and he told me he will try to get her out of there and leave. He did! Other women took the information we distributed, which Kathy designed. Some turned away, and some went inside. Most of the girls and women come and go in tears.
Tuesday was very slow, thanks be to God. I was there alone early on. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man coming down the sidewalk towards me. I don't recall seeing him before. As I would to anyone, when he got close, I greeted him. He moved as far away from me as possible on the sidewalk, put up his hand, and said in a loud mean voice, "Get away from me, you are evil!" His eyes were popping out and he actually looked frightened....of me? He was a large man....how could I possible hurt him? He kept on eye on me as he walked on as if I were going to cast a spell on him. Soon after that, Joe, Richard, and Jane arrived and we started our prayers. Only three women were in the clinic. A mother and daughter came out and left. They did not have time for an abortion, and they did not have the dreaded 24 hour notice envelope. I walked beside the mother, and she finally agreed to take my card.
Today I encountered another unusual situation with a man at the abortion center. I was working away trying to get women to leave to go to a CPC. Few were very responsive to my conversation attempts. Stan was with me wearing his sign that says, "Pregnant? Call 800 No-Abort" I always watch to see who is pulling in to the parking lot. I saw a man pull in who was alone. That is strange. I watched him get out of his car. He was a big muscular white man with sunglasses and a confident gate. I thought, "Here he comes, he can hardly wait to harass me." His shirt had a police patch. I waited for him to approach me. He whipped off his sunglasses, and stepped too close to me. I would not back up. I smiled and said hello. He told me that he drives by us all the time and today he felt compelled to stop and let us know that he supports us and our ministry. Shame on me for being so cynical!
His name is Jim. He stood close to me because he wanted to tell me something personal. He told me that he brought his girlfriend to an abortion clinic twenty years ago, when he was 21 years old. He has been struggling with that guilt and regret ever since. He has talked with a priest, and confessed. This big strong man had tears in his eyes. I listened to him becuase I could tell that he wanted to tell his whole story without being interupted. When he finished I asked him if he would stay and pray with us. Kathy, Katie, and Debbie were coming towards us. I gave him our prayer sheet and offered him a rosary. He smiled and said no thanks, I am a Knight of Columbus, and I have my own rosary. He knelt with us when we prayed the Chaplet, which he knew. It was great to have him pray with us, and I am sure it helped us be more noticable as witnesses from the street to have this great big muscular man pray his rosary with these four little women and Stan, who is not much bigger than me. I hope he comes back to pray with us again. We prayed for him.
Next week Tuesday is the Holiday. We think the abortionist will only close on Tuesday, but we will call. Afterall, he was open on Christmas eve, so what would he care about the Fourth of July eve? Before we leave the abortion center, we always pray Fr. Frank Pavone's prayer called The Prayer for the Closing of an Abortion Mill. A part I particularly like says, "...We pray, then, for the least among us, the children in the womb. Protect them from the violence of abortion. Give new hope to their parents, that they may turn away from the desperate act of abortion. Grant conversion to the abortionist and to the staff. Show us how we are to respond to the bloodshed in or midst....." That is what Jim did......he responded to the bloodshed in our midst!