This week The Center for Medical Progress released another video, depicting Planned Parenthood’s vicious disregard for human life. Still, Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million American tax dollars each year. Many in our Congress and our current administration look at Planned Parenthood and say, “Keep up the good work.”
When I think of those dollars going to Planned Parenthood as many of our pregnancy help organizations struggle financially, it is tempting to become discouraged.
We are given a choice, however. We can choose to focus on what we can easily see, and become more discouraged, certainly. Right now, we see Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, keeping their federal dollars and pushing forward with no accountability.
Or, we can choose another path. We can search more deeply, seeking to find God’s hand at work. This is not the easy choice, because at times God’s handiwork is more difficult to find. Yet when God’s hand works, it is more powerful, more lasting, and in the end, more amazing.
For me, a case in point came in a recent visit to Options for Life in New Braunfels, Texas; a suburb of San Antonio. As I walked into the center, I was overwhelmed by what I saw. More than 6,000 square feet of brand new office space along with furniture and special touches that would make an interior decorator take a deep breath and say, “Wow.”
On one side of the center, a resource center looking like the classiest children’s boutique store one could find. On the other, medical office space that would make a plastic surgeon smile.
I’m not a property brother from the HGTV series, but I do know “stunning” when I see it. Bingo. Right here.
If this facility is missing something, I can’t tell you what it is.
Stay with me. If you are involved in a pregnancy help ministry and thinking, "That’s great but I wish we . . ." I get it. And don’t ask me to explain why I saw this at Options and we’re not seeing this everywhere. I will say however, that these offices are popping up more and more across the country. I’ve been to several.
But I do know this: God is on the move. The stories of his hand at work are not just growing, they are multiplying.
At Options, CEO Beverly Ewald and board members shared with me story after story; stories that remind me of Joshua’s “stones of remembrance.”
Remember the story in Joshua 4? God told Joshua to choose a man from each of the 12 tribes of Israel and to have each of them carry a stone across the Jordan as the Israelites entered the Promised Land. The Jordan is held back for the crossing and the stones are placed on the other side.
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These stones were to be a reminder to the people that whatever the future might hold, they were to remember that it was God who parted the Red Sea, it was God who dried up the Jordan and that all the people would never forget the powerful hand of God.
The family at Options has its stones of remembrance, too.
They have the story of the land they thought would be perfect for them. Yet when they called to make an offer, another contract was in the works. All that was left was for the buyer to drop off some earnest money at the real estate office. But somehow, the buyer never showed up. The land was once again for sale and they bought it. One stone.
Or their ground-breaking on the new property. At the ceremony, a young girl and her father showed up—unknown to all. The father explained that this little girl’s brother was saved from abortion through Options. The little girl thanked them for saving her brother, offering a baby bottle of change with $2.38 inside. Another stone, in place.
A bank donates office furniture from a branch it was closing. The furniture is flawless.
A medical filing system, set on rails to save precious space—worth thousands of dollars—is donated.
More furniture, for the lobby and various client rooms, is offered at cost. As one who once sold office furniture, I know how big this gift can be. Most furniture is bought by the retailer at discounts such as “50/20.” This means that a couch retailing for $2,000 is priced at $800 for the retail store (50 percent off $2,000, then another 20 percent off the $1,000 remainder). Options is paying less than half of retail price then, to complete its décor. More stones.
A gift, anonymous, of four dollars. With it, a letter. The giver writes that she has little to give, yet she wants to help. “My prayer is that God will multiply this 100 times over,” reads the note. Later that day, a representative from the center is approached by a supporter. The supporter gives not $400 but . . . $4,000. Not 100 times the original gift, but one thousand times the $4 gift. The stones pile up, all of them worth remembering.
There were more stories. Many more. I can’t recall all of them.
My friends at Options don’t claim to be perfect or that they have some kind of “special” faith. They do however, have vision and the ability to remember the many times God performed the amazing in front of their eyes.
Theirs is a lesson for me and for all of us. We need to remember what God has done for us in the past. Each of our organizations must have its own “Stones of Remembrance,” where we remind ourselves of what God has already done.
When we do this, our discouragement dissipates and our expectation level rises.
I can’t say for sure what the future is for Planned Parenthood. My suspicion is however, that the abortion giant is wobbling, and needs to be prepared for a big fall.
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As for us, I choose to remember. And as I remember, I can more clearly see a mighty work unfolding in front of our eyes. New Braunfels, Texas is just one of many examples.
Planned Parenthood may have a few tax dollars in its pocket today, but they have no idea what they are up against.
God is lifting his hand, moving once again. I can’t wait to see what he does next.