This is the most unforgettable encounter of a lifetime. A total shift of paradigm takes place when she stops to listen to me as I fearfully approach her to give the brochure and explain about the services that are available for women and their unborn children. Mr.M always used to tell how I will have this one of a kind experience because I was getting annoyed with myself as I couldn’t get a women to stop by and listen to the good news that can save the dignity and life of two human beings.
That morning here she was, terrified and clueless. One can say she didn’t want to step into the abortion clinic just by her demeanor. I couldn’t believe myself that she stopped to listen to me and was willing to look out for other options. I felt a sudden rush of hormones however I tried my best to stay calm and give her the information as well as tried to get information from her so I can help her in a better way. We spoke for five minutes however she decided to go inside the clinic and have the abortion. We parted with hugs and I promised to pray for her. After 4 hours when we were about to leave the place, she comes walking right into me. I asked how she felt and she told me she couldn’t undergo abortion and had to reschedule it because she had had her breakfast. This wasn’t the only reason. Planned Parenthood demanded an additional $500 if she had to go through the procedure with anesthesia. Oh how happy I was. She even felt this might be a sign from God and she will consider other options. However things did not stop there. We took her to The Sister’s of Life who welcome and serve women facing crisis pregnancy and help with housing, rent, schooling, medical and almost anything that would help a mother choose life.
The struggle began. The Sisters spoke to her about all the help and support available for her to make an informed decision. Things felt positive. The arrangements for the young lady to have a pre-natal check up and follow up with other services began. However there was something missing and it just didn’t feel right. She wasn’t happy or excited in knowing about the help available that will not only save a life or prevent her from the hurt of abortion but also that will keep her dreams intact. A week passed by and she informed she’s going to have an abortion. She took a bus from place A to place B which was 3 hours with a confused heart. She wasn’t responding to messages and calls. And that’s when I knew things are falling apart.
After a long sleepless night of waiting for sign of hope and preparing gifts for her I reached the clinic by 7 am surprised to be met by Sisters who were there already praying and expecting a call or a message from her. I informed her that I was waiting in front of the clinic and asked her to get the gift I had bought for her before she gets into the abortion facility. I was hoping to trigger her maternal instincts with those cute little baby gifts. All of a sudden the Sisters receive a call from her so they rush to meet her even before she steps into the block to avoid any further temptation. A group meanwhile pleads God as they meet up with her and joy fills the place as we anticipate this as a life saved. However our joy was quick lived. We were informed that she had changed her mind again and is walking towards the clinic. There i meet her with a feeling i’ve never felt before.
She said she wanted to go through with it. She saw a crowd of 60 people praying on the opposite side, crossed the lane walked past by them and met with me to thank me for the gift and apologized. I didn’t know what more I could do to stop her from this terrible hurt. Though I was dumb as ever, I told her I wanted to whisper in her ears so her baby can hear what I was going to say.
She bent down and there into her ears I spoke to John Paul: “I baptize you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, may you know that many of us fought very hard for you, and love you so much. We want you to know you are very much loved. And when you reach heaven please forgive your mother and watch over her!” .She hugged me and went inside and there I was standing at the feet of the cross to see the innocent Christ being dragged along to be crucified. I felt helpless,hurt, angry and confused.
I will never forget this encounter with dear little John Paul who was 14 weeks old. The only thing I was able to do was to speak to the child of the love of few people whose life he/she touched even before being born and to name him. Because he/she was not a random product of careless sexual experience only to be discarded into the garbage. His existence had an essence, his presence had a purpose. As Pope Benedict says it “ Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” and little John Paul was the Christ I met at the sidewalk. Because:
“Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord.”
– Pope Francis