Yesterday we were at LoveJoy Surgicenter, an abortion clinic in Portland. I go out there and set up my little table with sacramentals and information about the Church, hoping to have some meaningful conversations with people passing by. Well, I met a women who fulfilled this prayer of mine. I'll just call her "Amy".
As we were standing in front of the clinic holding our signs and praying, Amy pulled up beside us in her car. She rolled down her window and started talking to my companion. I walked over to join the conversation, always seeing this as an opportunity to witness the culture of life to someone.
Amy starting by asking me if I had ever given a baby up for adoption, or had to bear the burden of raising a child all by myself, since I was "demanding other women do the same." I said, "As a matter of fact, ma'am, I've done both!"
I proceeded to tell her about my first son who was adopted at birth. I told her how, at that time, I was not capable of raising him and I felt that it would be best for him to go to a loving family who could take care of him. That he deserved better than I could give him. I also told her how beautiful he is, how big his smile is in the photos I see of him. I told her about his adoptive family, how much they thank me over an over again or giving them the baby that they were not able to have. How my baby was an answer to their prayers. I also made sure I didn't downplay the tremendous sacrifice and pain I went through giving my baby away, and the emptiness I felt when I was still recovering from the birth of my son, but he was gone, seemingly vanished. I also told her about how hard it was for me to carry him for 9 months when I was on and off again homeless. Especially in the later months of pregnancy then I was really big and my stomach was so heavy to carry around. I said how grateful I was for God's grace that allowed me to carry my baby to term, to lovingly give him up for adoption and to KNOW that HE IS ALIVE and that I didn't murder him! Oh how I thank God for that!
Amy patiently listened to everything I told her and was quiet. She then told me how she had worked with children who were in foster care and who were abused. She told me about the horror of child neglect and tried to justify abortion to me by these examples. I patiently listened to her and agreed with her on the common issues we kept. I said that we agree that child abuse is a horrible crime and we should do everything we can to prevent it and stop it. However I said this does not justify abortion just because there is a CHANCE that an unborn child MIGHT, sometime in the future experience some type of abuse!
I told her that her reasoning was faulty and wouldn't hold up under scrutiny.
It really was a wonderful exchange I had with this women and she was the nicest person to ever "argue" with me at an abortion clinic.
I lovingly asked her if she was a Christian, and she said yes. I told her that she should go back and read the scriptures again and see what Jesus has to say about human life. I asked her to reflect on how Jesus would feel about her telling me that "She will gladly pay for every women abortions who needed one!"
I told her that she didn't know Jesus if she thought that He would be ok with her stance. She agreed with me! I think that because I spoke to her in such a loving tone, she responded to me in a loving way also. She said, "no, you're right, I don't. Those are my opinions." I was so proud of her!
I spoke to Amy, leaning into her car and petting her dog for 15 minutes. At the end of the conversation, I just really asked her to think about her position and she told me the same.
Then, formally asked her what her name was and shook her hand, telling her mine. She said "Nice to meet you!" I said the same.
Then I asked her if I could give her my rosary I was holding in my hand. She hesitantly looked at me and said "Well, I don't know, I can't promise I'll do anything with it, but maybe you could set it there...(as she pointed to her passenger seat)"
I said, "Sure, you don't have to do anything with it Amy, I'm just going to set it right here on your seat.."
She said, "Ok" and smiled at me. I thanked her and she drove away waving.
Little did she know that that Saint Benedict rosary was exorcised by my priest. :)
Sometimes you have to be sneaky......
I'm praying for her conversion.