Don’t ask me what year this story took place. Time runs together a bit, so all I know is that it was sometime between 2000 and 2006. Thankfully, I remember where I was, in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. And I remember what happened—quite well.
It’s important to note that at the time of the event, I was no longer employed at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic, the pregnancy help center where I once served. Instead, I was working as director of development at my children’s Christian school—a single dad wanting to be close to his kids during the day as well as during the evenings. In my “free time” I was launching LifeTrends, which would, in 2014, join the Heartbeat International family of services.
Here I stood, somewhere in the line as I waited to purchase film for the school’s camera. Minding my own business. Not thinking about pregnancy help or my 10 years as executive director at Women’s Hope.
A voice broke into my thoughts. “Where do you work?!” the young lady behind the checkout counter blurted out. When I turned toward her voice, she was staring . . . at me.
For a moment, I was confused. I was now second in line and the person in front of me was grabbing her bags to go. What did it matter where I worked?
But then, it hit me. I had seen her before, several years earlier. At Women’s Hope.
“Confidentiality” popped into my head. I needed to be careful. I answered her question, telling her the name of my children’s school. But that wasn’t enough.
“No, before that,” she said. “Where did you used to work?”
Why not? I figured.
“Women’s Hope Medical Clinic, down in Auburn,” I told her.
Her eyes lit up. “I HAD MY BABY BECAUSE OF YOU!” she yelled, loud enough for shoppers in all 348 checkout lines to hear.
Instantly, I received stares of surprise and confusion. I could see the questions popping up in the minds of those around me. Such as, “How, exactly, was this guy involved in her pregnancy?” Or “So, these two were involved in having a baby and she couldn’t remember who he is??”
I didn’t care. I laughed. We shared a hug. Let everyone think whatever they want, I decided. This was a moment of joy. She showed me a picture of her little guy. I smiled. This was a good day.
Oh, and I checked out as promptly as possible, so the next-in-line person wasn’t put out by our small celebration at the Wal-Mart checkout counter.
Many reading this know exactly how I felt as I hopped into my car and zipped back to the school.
At that moment, I knew something I was a part of changed someone’s life for the better. She told me. She showed me her child. She was thrilled about her decision and didn’t care if everyone in Wal-Mart knew her story.
Like I said, it was a good day, 15 years ago or more. I remember. Lord willing, I always will.
A reason to tell
This story isn’t only meant to encourage all of us in the pregnancy help community. Because while we sometimes experience heartbreaking lows, most of us can point to moments just like the one I mention above, whether it took place in our offices, a mobile unit, or years later in a store or business.
But this story is here for another reason.
My hope is that someone who works in the abortion industry will read this one day. Because just as all of us in the pregnancy help community want the best for those who come in our door, we understand that when it comes to loving our neighbor, you—who are trying to make a living and perhaps feed a family while working at an abortion facility—are our neighbor, too.
We want the best for everyone, and this includes those who participate in a business which, just to be real with you, we pray would close.
But while we want the business to close, we want you to experience the best in your life. We really do. If someone at some point led you to believe we didn’t want good for you, my apologies on their behalf. I’m sorry.
Tweet This: We want the best for everyone - including, even as we pray it would close - those who participate in the abortion business.
Truth is, I want joy for you. I want you to have the happiness I had that day in Wal-Mart. I want you to experience the fulfillment of knowing how great it feels to receive that hug of thankfulness.
So, to you, who wake up each day and go to work in a place where you may be increasingly uncomfortable, I have an idea. Pick up your cell phone—whenever you’re ready—and call your closest pregnancy help center. You may be surprised at how open they are. They can help. And no judgment. No, “How could you?” None of that.
Another idea? Check out this web site. You know what they do? They find jobs just for you, those who’ve decided the abortion industry isn’t for them. Again, this isn’t some place of judgment. It’s a place of hope. Of new beginnings. Of a new life.
What does a miracle look like?
If you work in a center which ends pregnancies, it’s a miracle you’re reading this. I mean, what are the odds you would be reading a column on a “pro-life” web site? For whatever reason and in whatever fashion, your phone or laptop found its way here.
Maybe this is the nudge you need to make a change. It’s up to you of course. But why not pick up the phone or jump on over to the link I mentioned above, designed to help you find a new place to use your talents? You’ve got nothing to lose. And you never know what you might gain.
C’mon over and join us. Just get ready for a warm welcome . . . it’s waiting just for you.