A Picture is Worth…

As the end of the Mercy Seat event drew near, God had one more lesson for us: this one a visual lesson. There were only about 45 minutes left when a leader got on the microphone and urged everyone to really focus in for the remaining time. People who had been praying sitting down, or taking a break in the shade all stood to their feet and formed line after line of people in front of the Supreme Court building steps. There were about 300-400 people there at this point.

Brian and I were on the front row, standing within inches of the courthouse steps. (We weren’t allowed on the steps, since legally we were part of a “protest”.) All afternoon we had watched a steady stream of tourists work their way around our gathering and walk the steps of the courthouse, spending a few minutes at the top to enjoy the view, or maybe just the shade provided by the huge columns. By now, being late in the day and HOT, the crowds had dwindled to just an occasional couple or family. As I stood, trying hard to focus on praying, my attention was grabbed by a man jogging across the wide terrace between the first set of steps where we stood and up the larger set of steps up to the doors of the building. He was wearing black biker shorts and a black exercise jacket. It was the loose kind that looks like it’s made out of black trash bags, and is intended to make you sweat more when you exercise, thus supposedly making your work-out more productive.

As I watched, the guy ran up the steps, took a turn around the first column, and began to run down the steps again. It appeared he was running the steps like they used to make us do in gym class, and I was thinking, “Wow! That guy is serious about his exercise!” As he descended the steps, I noticed a police officer (one who had spent the entire day pacing the steps, watching us in case we got ugly) take off running  toward the jogger. From where we stood I couldn’t hear what was being said, but the officer didn’t look too happy! There was some back-and-forth between the two, and finally the officer pointed away from the building, and the runner turned and left in the direction the officer had pointed.

I tried to regain my focus, but shortly my attention returned to the jogger. I turned just in time to see him put his hands on the handle of a baby stroller sitting all alone on the terrace and begin to walk off. I saw two tiny little legs clothed in pink flannel wiggling innocently as he did so. So this was what the officer had a problem with: not that the jogger was running the steps but that he had abandoned his tiny daughter in a public place, with hundreds of strangers milling around, so he could get a good work-out! I was horrified!

Then the lesson hit me.  I began to cry as I realize what God was showing us. Isn’t this just what leads to many abortions? Studies show that 64% of abortions happen because the woman is coerced (or forced) into it, often by the baby’s father. Why? Because they are more interested in their own interests than the welfare of the child they helped create. Just like our jogger. I couldn’t do anything but stand and weep. I wept for the innocent babies who never get a chance at life. I wept for the women who, in the name of “choice”, are forced into a hasty abortion by others who are more concerned about how the pregnancy would affect their own life than they are the welfare of the mother or the baby. I wept for the women who have been convinced that their precious pre-birth child is not in fact a person. I wept for the deception that has convinced women that abortion is a quick fix with no consequences. I wept for a nation that says this is a good thing.

Was it a good day? Yes. Was it easy? No, but was it worth it? Yes. Come, Lord Jesus…

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