Last week in Louisville I ended up staying in a hotel that was a little bit off the beaten path, so to speak, just outside the downtown core, out where most of the storefronts were boarded up and only fast food restaurants and strip clubs kept their lights on at night. Every time I walked from my hotel to the conference or from the conference to the hotel, I had to pass by an abortion clinic, a building with a sign that declared it a “Women’s Surgical Center.”
One morning, as I walked by that clinic, passing directly in front of it, I saw that three or four people were just outside, holding signs and passing out pamphlets. I was taken aback; here in Ontario it has long since been declared illegal to protest outside a clinic. Yet there they were, quietly and peacefully protesting.
Standing a little bit apart from those people were two men and a woman, each wearing an orange vest emblazoned with “Escort.” These three people were escorting young women from the parking lot to the clinic, walking them past the protestors, all of whom were behaving peacefully; two were seated on the sidewalk praying, the others were calling to the women and saying, “Please don’t kill your baby. You don’t have to do this!” One young woman walked by them—she couldn’t have been older than sixteen or seventeen—with her mother beside her, her head down. She quietly took a pamphlet and disappeared inside. The people on the sidewalk kept praying. A moment later another woman, perhaps in her twenties or thirties, passed by the protestors and went inside as well.
All of that unraveled in the few seconds it took for me to pass by—a very powerful few seconds. I was shocked and gravely disappointed—shocked again, shocked anew, that we allow this to happen, that our society not only allows this to happen, but is actually complicit in this genocide. And I was so gravely disappointed in myself, so ashamed. I felt no animosity toward those young women. They were doing only what they have been instructed to do, what parents and friends and guidance counselors and maybe even pastors have told them is the happiest outcome. “It’s just like having a tumor removed. It’s just a small surgery; it will be over before you know it. It’s better this way.”
That little girl who went in there was a sinner behaving like a sinner, an unbeliever acting out of unbelief, desperate to rid herself of the evidence of her sin or perhaps the evidence of a sin committed against her. She was wrong, of course, and will have to give an account for what she has done; but I harbor no ill-will for her. It is me I was disgusted with and me I was ashamed of. Disgusted that I could watch that and not do something, ashamed that I have no idea what to do and that I have done so little. I don’t even know what I ought to do. Cry out to God and ask him to intervene? Demand answers from God as to how he can allow this to go on? What do you do, how do you react, when you see someone about to commit murder? I, we, do nothing. We feel disturbed, we feel bad, we feel guilty and ashamed, and we walk away. This atrocity has been going on all around me all of my life and I do so very little about it. I stopped for a moment, felt revulsion, and then went on my way and ate breakfast.www.challies.com