“This is an abortion clinic! What is she doing here?” I thought upon noticing a stranger entering the room. “She does not look like a person who should be having an abortion.”
The woman resembled a preppy teenager with short red hair and clear pale skin. “Likely a college student who didn’t use contraception,” I assumed, judging her.
Bright red splotches appeared over her neck indicating her overall stress and discomfort in this unique environment. She walked like a scared lamb, ready to flee the spirit of death that awaited her.
Pulling a large bundle of cash from her purse, she carefully counted out $250. The receptionist exchanged the cash for a clip board. As she sat down near me, I saw a tear fall from the corner of her eye.
Carefully, she completed the requested information. I wondered if she listed a fake name like so many others in the room. I discounted that idea based on her seemingly pure presentation. But she only appeared that way. She couldn’t have been pure if she was sitting alone in an abortion clinic.
After returning the clipboard, she began perusing the other women in the room. Noticing that most were quietly weeping, she took a deep breath, closed her eyes and put her head in her hands.
I attempted to read her body language. There seemed to be nearly an air of holiness surrounding her which did not fit with that setting. “She’s likely a church girl,” I reasoned.
Everyone in the room jumped when the abortion clinic attendee opened the side door. Dressed in medical scrubs, she belted out a strange sounding name.
The red head jerked as if suddenly awakened from a deep slumber. With great effort she stood up and followed the attendant into the long, dark hallway that led to the abortion theater.
My heart felt pity for the teen. If I had been in another place, I may have prayed for her. But this was no place for prayer. This was a place of death.
To occupy time, I wondered about her circumstance as her internal conflict was obvious. Was she aborting to keep her parents from discovering she was no longer a virgin? Were their rules at her school that would have expelled her due to an unplanned pregnancy? Did she have a man pushing her to abort his baby? Did she want to make another choice?
Suddenly, a strange sound broke through. Horrified, I realized it was the sound of a woman screaming. The noise was quickly muffled but then seemed to break through whatever was attempting to contain it.
“Must be the red head,” I thought sadly. While my heart wanted to free her from whatever was causing her to scream, it wasn’t my place. I couldn’t rescue her.
To escape the traumatizing sounds, I walked out and looked into the parking lot below. One man was sitting in his vehicle, playing air guitar. “Must be her boyfriend,” I reasoned. “What a jerk to let her come in here all alone!”
The man’s appearance was not as wholesome as the red head. While watching, I noticed a look of panic appear on his face. His expression bore the likelihood of an internal argument. He got out of the car and walked ten feet toward the clinic before stopping and throwing his hands in the air. He then returned to the sanctuary of his vehicle.
“Could he have been thinking of rescuing her?” I thought. It didn’t matter. He clearly wasn’t a knight in shining armor.
When the screaming sounds ceased, I returned to my seat. When the door eventually opened, the red head was the first to emerge. Our eyes met and then our identities merged. I realized this stranger was actually me.
For eleven years I worked to assimilate myself into the personality of the teen who took the life of her own child that day. Fearful of her return to do more damage to my life, I kept her well hidden in my heart until God’s love broke through. God then used an abortion recovery program to help me acknowledge, understand and forgive the former version of myself in that clinic. This difficult healing step brought great peace and ended many of my anxiety issues.
Philippians 4:6-7 then was fulfilled in my life – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If you have chosen abortion, God can help you forgive the stranger inside of you that made that choice. If you know a woman who visited an abortion clinic, realize they aren’t a stranger. Help them to understand that God’s love, grace and mercy are available to help them find peace. An abortion recovery program can help them in this healing journey!