A Love Letter / 40 Days for Life

My surprising call to continue to stand in prayer every day the clinic was open for business  didn’t end with the Fall 2015 40 Days for Life Campaign (Part 2 of A Very Long 40 Days coming soon.) Fueled by a love letter I had written four years ago, I stood seeking God’s will delivering this message. This long stand is part of that journey.

I always arrived very early in the morning in an effort to greet the clinic workers.“Larry” came on Wednesday to pray, and Friday another man came before heading into work. That left three mornings when I stood alone. The contrast of a vibrant and present church during the 40 Days and its physical absence at its ending was starkly present in my heart and mind. It was like the 40 Days for Life was a time of feasting and the time in between was a long fast.

Sidewalk Advocates (of which I had become a part of) would arrive to minister later in the morning on Wednesday-Friday. Another sidewalk counseling ministry had long ago purchased the property next door to the clinic which gave them access to reach out to offer help to patients in the parking lot. They were also faithfully present, yet I was quite removed from them as they were in the back and I in the front.

During the month of January joy was blossoming in my soul at the mere thought of the clinic being blanketed in earnest prayer. Spring 40 Days was almost here!

It would begin on February 10! Although it had been one long cold winter in the “garden” for me, I thought of those who labor tirelessly year round and have for decades ministering outside clinics, in pregnancy centers, and in post abortion healing retreats … I thought directly of one woman who headed up the sidewalk counseling ministry next door to this clinic. It was her life’s work. I had witnessed her passion in reaching out to these families heading in to what they believed was their only choice. She rallied all kinds of support for any woman who would respond to her offer of help. One day I witnessed her write a check for two months’ rent, sparing an abortion minded college age woman who already had a baby at home besides the one she was carrying, from certain eviction. This young mother would have continuing care from these new friends.

She told me of how she responds to angry supporters of abortion determined women heading into the clinic. They often shout out, “Who will buy this baby diapers?!!!!”

“We will and we do.” She answers, “Would you like me to put you on the phone with a woman we have helped?”

She can say this because she does help. She’s in it all the way for mother and baby through pregnancy, and after. And for those who don’t listen and follow through with abortion. She is there for them after.

It is a hard garden to never leave. Most often a curse or polite “No thank you” is what she and her team hears day in and day out.  What must it mean to her when we show up for 40 days and cover her ministry in prayer?

It was the morning of Janurary 26, 2016 that this was in the forefront of my thinking when I spotted something.

clinic 5

I had been standing in the same place from September through the end of January and I had never seen this before! A light so glorious! Reflected in the clinic windows was a brightly lit dome with a cross on it!

But this was no church steeple. I looked around to find the source of this vision, as the Kari Jobe song How Majestic came alive through my cell phone speaking to me,

“How Majestic”

Without a word
The mountains speak
The song that all creation sings
The painted skies
The sun and stars
The Heavens tell how great You are
The Heavens tell how great You are

How majestic is Your name
How majestic is Your name
Jesus wonderful, powerful
You’re the Lord of all
How majestic is Your name

A rugged cross
A humble King
How beautiful the mystery
That love would bleed from majesty

All rise, all rise in highest praise
Your name will reign through all eternity
Our hope, our strength, our victory
We bow down, down at Your feet

I see that it’s really just a weather vane on top of the college across and down the street a little ways. I stood stunned for a bit. It was silly in a way how encouraged I was by this knowledge and sight. Had I known it was here all along, I would have looked for it every morning! How had I never seen this sign of the empty cross victorious before?

In that moment I realized that in a few more days, starting February 10, reflected in the windows of this clinic would be something even greater that a college weather vane. I would see a reflection of a beautiful living love letter in the windows of the place abortion has a stronghold.  I would see it written on the faces of God’s children who would come! Not only by faith, but because it would be a physical reality. A reality that is visible to the whole city, the clinic workers, and the patients, to those in full time ministry on the front lines, to the church, to us all, but most importantly to the Lord Jesus. We will not sleep in the garden. May we be your love letter, visible here for all to read.

heart clinic

In this the year of mercy Lord Jesus, we will reflect your kindness, love, forgiveness and healing. What you paid-the ultimate price-to freely offer us. All that we have, though undeserving, received ourselves we offer to all who have yet to receive you.

Blessed 5th Day of the 40 Days for Life

2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

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