By Bud Shaver
As we step out in faith onto a sidewalk outside an abortion clinic I am continually amazed and inspired. I am learning more about God’s ability to move through his body and his power that is exercised through prayer. This week on Wednesday, the first day of 40 Days For Life, there was a larger than usual presence of people united with a common love and urgency to minister to the women, babies, and families going into the late-term abortion clinic Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO). My friend and faithful pro-life advocate Lorenzo reminds me every day that each day is new and that each person we encounter at the abortion clinic has their own unique set of trials.
A vehicle pulled up and an entire family of several people got out and walked into SWO. As they walked in a few people were able to offer kind words of hope and help, words of compassion, and words of urgency about the dangers posed at this specific clinic, how it is currently under investigation by the New Mexico Medical Board. The family had their heads down, and they did not stop to speak to anyone. A young man escorted a young woman dressed in sweats, he had head phones on and he obviously did not want to talk to anyone. After several minutes, he came back outside and he seemed visually upset. He suddenly ran across the street weeping and he fell prostrate on the ground in front of a house that has a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. He stayed there for several minutes weeping and praying.
As we reach out each day, people respond in various ways to conviction. Some respond in anger, some with excuses. We desire them all to respond with brokenness. This young man responded in the appropriate way, he was truly broken. He spoke broken English, but he told us that it was his girlfriend there for an abortion, his child. He went back inside and neither he nor the family came back outside before we all left for the day.
There was one sidewalk counselor who was speaking to him in Spanish and very fervently praying for him, she mentioned how emotionally drained she was and she cried with another sidewalk counselor for several minutes before we all left.
I will always have the image of this young man in my mind when I think about what it means to be truly broken. However, this is not the end of this story! The next day, Thursday, instead of reaching out at late-term SWO, a group of us reach out at another local abortion clinic, UNMCRH. When I went back out to SWO on Friday, I was told that the young man came back out to SWO on Thursday to personally thank all of us and to share his joy that he was able to talk his girlfriend, and the entire family out of the abortion! He shared that he was a very proud papa!
He mentioned that he was Catholic but that he had not been taking his faith very seriously for quite a while. He was just going along with his girlfriend and family and did not really care that his girlfriend was going to have the abortion…That was until he encountered all of us and he was convicted and empowered to do all he could to save the life of his child.
When we step out in faith at the local abortion clinics in our community God uses even our mustard seed sized faith to move mountains! We even witness miracles! We are able to see that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts hearts as we make ourselves available to the lost and truly desperate! As the Holy Spirit convicts peoples hearts, they are not simply left in their brokenness. God is able to empower each one of us for the burden of responsibility that he awakens our hearts to. This young man stood up from his knees and then stepped out and God was able to use him to save a life…the life of his child!
This is how God can and wants to use each one of us!