This conversion story gave me goosebumps. Saving lives at the abortion mills is a miracle, but an even more important miracle is conversion of heart. After all, the Lord tells us not to fear the one who can kill the body, but the one who can thrust a soul into hell. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and to hear about an "aha" moment when a soul recognizes the truth --- well, how beautiful to witness such a miracle. Praise God for the event described here and pray for all involved especially the young man who saw the light.
Today was my last day at the abortuary on Commonwealth Drive just around the corner from the Pregnancy Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. This particular clinic had fallen under the radar and been ignored for far too long until this year. Even the accountant who lives next door was shocked to see pro lifers standing vigil. I thought it was going to be an uneventful final day where I would get to say goodbye to all the wonderful pro lifers who have been sacrificing their Weds evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm to defend the unborn and be a living example of God's never ending love for moms and dads in need of spiritual rescue.
Many familiar faces and some new faces were there and I was glad to see them all -- but sad that it was going to be the last time.
It turned out to be the busiest day I had ever seen at the Commonwealth abortuary -- the cars kept coming and coming. Most of the pro life volunteers were in the drive way ministering to their spiritual brothers and sisters that were there to abort their babies. A couple other pro lifers were standing on the sidewalk in front of the abortuary holding signs and I decided to join them.
Eventually a car pulled over and a young man jumped out. It was dark, so I recognized his voice before I saw his face.
This young man had been a familiar sight at the Planned Parenthood during 40 Days for Life, but I'd never seen him at the Commonwealth abortuary. Many of you will remember him because he also pulled over during the Hour of Power and walked up and down Hydraulic Road yelling at us. Eventually the police were called and he reluctantly left.
It was obvious that God was working on him.
In fact, just last Friday he rolled down his window and yelled for us to go home as he drove past the Planned Parenthood. And someone else yelled back that God loved him and that he needed to start fearing Him.
But tonight was different, it the wasn't the same young man we'd encountered so many times in front of Planned Parenthood. For starters he wasn't yelling at us. =-)
He told us that he recently had a telephone conversation with a female friend in Philadelphia and the topic of abortion came up and in the middle of that conversation he began to cry uncontrollably. At first he wasn't sure why was crying so hard. After all, he believed in a woman's right to choose and had been verbally jousting with us on that very topic for months. He said that he suddenly realized that it was wrong for these women to abandon their babies.
He then talked about the the Apostle Paul and how he could identify with that story. He said just as Saul cheered as Stephen was stoned, he had been stoning us with his words and been hateful toward us. And then he quoted the words of Stephen shortly before his death, "Father do not hold this sin against them."
This presented the perfect moment for me share my first name with him. ;-)
He said part of the reason he hated us was because he misunderstood us. He said he came to his conclusions about us based on television and other unreliable sources. He thought we were trying to judge them. And then we told him that we were there because God loves them and God loves those babies. And it wasn't about trying to prevent freedom of choice, but protecting the right to life of the child and avoiding the dire consequences of sin.
To my surprise he began to weep as he considered his place in the world and what was going to happen to this country because of our sin. As he wiped the tears from his face he said he knew that our sin was going to bring an end to the world. He wept because he understood that sin would interrupt his plans and that he might not live a full life.
We agreed with him that sin has consequences, but reassured him that God has already prepared the way -- even in times of God's justice.
It's true that those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind, but God has a spiritual cave for his faithful servants. And God sends them into the world to minister and offer rescue until the very end of time. And long after we've all given up and thrown in the towel God is still there until the end.
He heard a few stories of our own impatience when we'd given up. Even as some servants of God had given up on him, but God never gave up. He was told that he was an answer to prayers. And that one day his voice would be heard through the chaos of voices in the world by men and women hurting and in need of God's love. He didn't realize it then, but when he responded to the deafening call of God's voice and pulled his car over rather than ignore it ... his life would never be the same.
He fought and struggled with it -- but he never ignored it like so many busy Americans.
As I placed my hand on his shoulder and heard his name for the time I felt joy and sadness. I was happy that he was finally surrendering to God's plan for his life, but I was sorry that I was leaving just as it was about to take root and grow. I wouldn't get to see the miracle of his ministry in Charlottesville, but Lord willing many of you will get to see it firsthand.
I'm being a little bit selfish since I was fortunate to see your ministries unfold before my eyes.
Many of you loved him when all he was expecting was hate. And many of you prayed for him and your prayers were heard and answered. And still others were stranding in front of those clinics for his eyes to see and his heart to ponder. And it changed him. Thanks for being faithful -- young men like him recognize God's servants when they see them. And your constant presence in front of those clinics is a reminder of the choice we must all make every day: who will we serve?
Think how different the story would be if the sidewalks were empty.