Tuesday, February 22, 2011

wearing shorts in February

I have this note taped to the door in my bathroom
so this image is reflected in my mirror.

Today has been a super long day. I was exhausted even when I woke up after sleeping for 9 hours (which stinks) but everything ended up leading to a really random blessing. The more I think about it, pretty much every blessing lately feels pretty random, but whatevs.

Getting dressed for my weightlifting class this morning (I'm so cool) I was unaware that it was cold outside. I only realized this after I was walking out of my apartment and I didn't have time to change... therefore, I wore shorts.

It was chilly for most of the day as I went to weightlifting, social work, etc. Then I had to go to the airport and, being an occasional punctuality freak, I gave myself a lot of extra time to make sure traffic wasn't bad. Turns out traffic was fabulous, so by the time I got really close to the airport I had an entire extra hour before I needed to be anywhere.

I'd considered going to pray at the abortion mill while I was walking to class this morning but I didn't know if time would allow or if it was something I was supposed to do today, but considering I accidentally took the exit for the mill, I thought, OKAY!

I've never been to the abortion mill when there's no one else there. I rarely use the word nervous to describe how I feel, but I definitely was like super aware of my surroundings standing there with just me, the sidewalk, the few cars in the parking lot, and the mill.

Quick note: I use the terms "mill" and "facility" because it has been pointed out to me that the word "clinic" implies that people leave better than they were when they arrived or that some kind of beneficial service is taking place and I don't feel that facilities that commit abortions offer any sort of healing for anyone- mother, father, or child. Sometimes I almost say "abortion clinic" just because it's so commonly used and thrown around, but this year I've been making an effort to use more appropriate terminology. jtlyk (new favorite acronym).

Like I said, there were very few cars in the parking lot- so that was good. A car pulled up with a couple inside who looked to be in their late thirties. I just smiled at the man and he smiled back and then they went inside. There's no way to know why they were there, but the woman looked very broken for one reason or another. They came back out about 20 minutes later right before I left and the man and I exchanged smiles again while the woman kept her head down.

in case you wondered what my shorts looked like...
or you really wanted to see how messy my
bathroom counter is...

Two women came out later who appeared to be mother & daughter, but that's just what they seemed to me. It was really heartbreaking. One of the women held onto the rail the whole way from leaving the building, walking down some steps, and across the little bridge to the parking lot. The other woman (in my mind, "the mom") held onto her while she made her way to the car. They never smiled or talked to each other, they just looked broken. It was really sad...

The biggest moment of my time on the sidewalk today was when a taxi pulled up. Usually, the taxis will pull up as close to the building as they can which leaves very few opportunities for sidewalk counselors to reach out to the women or share information with them. I wasn't going to try; I was just feeling called to pray today. The taxi driver got out and opened the door for the young lady when they arrived, which made me chuckle. Chivalry is a lost art and it was ironic to see a chivalrous display in the abortion mill parking lot. The woman went inside and as the taxi was leaving the lot the driver rolled down the passenger side window (the side I was nearest) and yelled something at me. I looked at him kind of surprised and asked What? while PRAYING that this wasn't a confrontation- PLEASE God, don't let this be something mean!

He said, "Aren't you freezing in those shorts? I'm wearing a jacket and I'm cold!" So I approached the taxi and said, "Well, it's cold but I need to be praying so I'm trying not to think about it, ha ha." He asked me why I was praying out on the sidewalk and I said, "well, this is an abortion facility and... I really don't like abortion." He had no idea it was an abortion mill. He said "I don't like abortion either... Oh no, I really hope that wasn't what that girl was after. I asked her a couple questions and she said she just had to stop in for a minute... you don't think...?" and I told him what I knew about the procedures that take place inside that building. He was devastated. He told me he thought it was great that someone would be out there praying but asked,
"but my question is, since people know what's going on in there- why aren't there more people out here?"
(I like got chills when he said that. It's so true though- if we know about this injustice, why aren't more of us out there more frequently? The way he asked was just so like- how are we letting this happen oh gosh it was so powerful to me. okay emotional mini-rant= over.). I told him about 40 Days for Life and how there will be way more people out there starting March 9 and that even on Saturdays there tends to be groups of people praying.

I have no idea how long I talked to this man, but it was probably the most amazing thing to happen to me in a while. Once I told him about the Pro-Life group I'm working with he immediately got out his business card (which is so funny- has a cute joke on the back) and said to call him if he can ever be of any help. My day = made. The most touching part was when "Dave" (I've never really changed names in a story or anything, not really sure why I am now, but I guess I should start changing real life names?) opened up and told me about a girlfriend he'd had back in the day (I'm guessing Dave is in his late fifties). He said his girlfriend was a model and a dancer and then one day she just casually told him that she'd had 5 abortions. Heartbreaking. Dave's comment on that was "just like blowing your nose on a tissue and throwing it away like it's no big deal." I can't imagine the emotional, and even physical, brokenness someone would experience after 5 abortions.

I am still just really amazed at Dave's openness and true care expressed towards life. Like, he really cared and really wanted to talk about it. There was no fear behind his words, only sincerity and concern. The way he reacted when I told him that this building was an abortion facility is the way that everyone should be reacting when they find out about the tragedies taking place all around the world. 81,000 abortions in Texas in a year... 35,000 a day in China... this is not right.

Dave gave me his contact information and my plan is to get him some material about abortion and some brochures about Pregnancy Resource Centers and hotlines that he can potentially distribute if a woman or man ever gets into his taxi and asks to be taken to an abortion mill. I've seen a lot of taxis pull up in those parking lots- but what if the driver could talk to her on the way there? I'm just giddy about this. He was seriously so nice. I've just been meeting the most random nice people lately. Stop blessing me, God! It's getting incessant! Jk totally keep up the blessings because it rocks.



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