It was freezing cold. i pulled my hat further down on my forehead and felt my eyelashes freeze when my eyes watered.
i watched their car pull into that parking lot - a man and a woman... they gazed purposefully at my sign that read, "Each fragile life, a gift" before opening the door to the clinic. But as the door swung open, my attention suddenly shifted to the woman being escorted out. They walked her out the door, and then the door shut behind the couple that had just gone in, and she was left in the parking lot alone.
Slowly, achingly, she made her way across the parking lot. i watched her - praying for her - wondering if they could really have let her go in that condition all by herself. i have seen women go to the bus stop near by before, but she continued in her slow agony past it - and finally crossed the street at the lights.
"Do they really just let them go like that? With nobody to help them?" The voice came from behind me and startled me mid-thought. Another vigiller voiced my concern and i shook my head - uncertain... Surely she had someone picking her up. Surely they could see that she wasn't alright - even to cross the street alone.
My mind flew back in time. Has it really been 14 years since i lost my little baby boy 16 weeks into my pregnancy? i remember that a couple of days after he was delivered, we went out for breakfast with my mom... she was leaving us to mourn our dead alone, after having come to help us in the first shock of grief. i felt kind of awful still and i went to the restaurant bathroom where i promptly passed out. i came to a while later, when my husband found me and scooped me up in his arms to take me to the hospital. i was so weak...
And this clinic that intentionally brings death... they just took her baby - leaving her weak and her womb void. They stripped her of her child, her dignity, her health - and she left in the cold alone.
i bit my lip.
i know i'm not supposed to go beyond this bubble zone, but i can't help but wonder if she's alright. Surely this is a human issue - not a protester versus an abortion clinic issue. Surely a fellow human being couldn't just let her hobble away - who knows how far. i had a van, i could give her a ride, i could help her if she'd let me...
Decided, i folded my sign under my arm, and jogged up the sidewalk. i glanced up the street, and it was empty. i walked across the gas station parking lot - looking for her slow stride where her pants hastily tucked - flapped out of the tops of her winter boots... but she was nowhere to be seen.
i walked slowly back to my position on the sidewalk - dissatisfied. i wondered who would find her if she passed out - i remembered my husband's tender arms... and i prayed for my Father's gentle comfort and redemption for her...
Oh, God - i wish i would have acted sooner... i wish i could have reached her - spoken to her - comforted her... i wish that she never would have believed the lies that have saturated our culture that offer death as a solution to life - that offer emptiness as a solution to crisis.
So - i missed her on that road to Jericho.
i prayed - and yet was denied the opportunity to offer physical comfort... Oh Father, keep me willing... hone my instincts, let me act in accordance to Your will - in a way that will bring light and truth to a hurting world.