A portion of my back yard has a problem. Fortunately, we’re not talking about my entire back yard—but yes, there is an area where we have, shall we say, issues.
About 100 feet from our house, have what can be described as a baby-sized “pond,” surrounded by a few trees. During a rainy stretch there is a lot of water in there. During the dry times we see only an ugly, brown puddle.
Our solution? We called a recognized landscaping company, known for its work with many of Nashville’s tourist spots. Surely, they would fix everything, right?
My dream was a gorgeous water feature with water-loving plants and a bench for aesthetics; a peaceful getaway that would be the envy of the neighborhood. I wanted something so gorgeous that my neighbors would walk by and say, “Ooooh, what a paradise!”
Or perhaps in a Field of Dreams moment, cars would line up for miles just to drive by and glance for a moment at the (once homely) lot where gentle waters now trickle throughout the day, bringing a sense of peace and serenity. Passersby would roll down their windows, tossing coins into the pond (I’m thinking silver dollars, not pennies) in thankfulness for a wondrous respite from their frenetic day.
We found out quickly this will not be the future for our oversized puddle.
When your landscape expert’s first words are “We don’t like to set ourselves up to fail,” we’re not looking at a great outcome.
Our beloved future “water feature” is actually a small sinkhole. It’s not dangerous, nor is it uncommon in this area; but its future is not the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.
The best we can do is funnel rainwater into “puddlemania” more expeditiously, so the crayfish (also known as “crawfish” or “crawdads”) will stop building hi-rise apartments all around the place every time we get a shower.
Ultimately, once we’ve built the French drains to get the water through the sinkhole and on its merry way to a drainage ditch (or, “the fresh water dry creek” as we like to describe it), our best bet is to get some decent rock in there.
Fortunately, at some point this area will no longer be an eyesore. And, the back yard is big enough to accommodate our boys with plenty of room to play in spite of our water issues.
Tweet This: #prolife movement has more potential than we imagine. @KirkWalden #PregnancyHelp
Our yard is a work in progress, to be sure. We take a couple of steps forward, then run into a snag. But after swallowing our dose of reality we get back to work again, adjusting our dreams and finding a new path toward our ultimate goal: building a welcoming environment for our boys and for all who come to see us (we had 40 youth from all over the country at our home just last week—talk about an experience!).
I still see potential in my back yard. And at some point, it will achieve its goal of serving as a place of joy—even if it doesn’t look as I once imagined.
So it is with pregnancy help ministry. We see challenges and obstacles as we press on toward creating an attractive atmosphere for those who need us, effectively meeting their deepest needs, and in the process, turning our culture toward life.
Sometimes, circumstances—or facts on the ground—force us to shift direction. The future may not look quite like we once planned. Yet we will always adapt, always pressing on because we serve a God who is not bound by finances, the media, a fickle legislature or a court which denies science when it comes to the issue of life.
I’m reminded of the early church which faced unfathomable persecution and had to scatter in order to run for its very life. Yet those who were scattered by Saul and others “went about preaching the word,” advancing the gospel message.
As they fled for safer spaces, the gospel message spread. And later, even “Saul the Scatterer” would be captured by this message and become Paul, the greatest apostle.
Already, I’m coming up with new ideas for our back yard. It’s going to look different than anticipated, but it is going to be everything we could ask for.
So when we face legal challenges, attacks by those who wish to shut our doors, or even discouragement from those who tell us our calling is beyond what we can accomplish, let’s keep remain focused on our highest callings; to offer life-changing hope to those we see, and save lives in the process.
I don’t know exactly what pregnancy help ministry will look like in the next five or ten years, but I do know this: Just like my back yard, our work may look a bit different than we might think today. But, it has the potential to be more effective than anything we can imagine.