Testimony refutes the devil’s lies
If you were at the 40 Days for Life Midway Rally on March 15, you heard Maggie tell us how she was thankful for her five month old little boy, whom she had scheduled to abort last February during our first 40 Days for Life campaign. She explained how Terri had given her a pair of blue baby booties and told her she was going to have a boy. "I was amazed when I found out that he was really a boy," Maggie told the crowd.
I had met Maggie on the sidewalk outside the killing center a few days earlier. When she and her friend approached me on the sidewalk, we had just been in the midst of a severe attack. A man named Ishmael, who had brought his daughter in to the abortion chamber so that his grandchild could be aborted, shouted at us and told us that our ministry is a waste of time. "You’re not helping anyone," he mocked.
The uncle of Ishmael’s daughter has been involved in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, and he had heard that his niece was scheduled for an abortion, so he told us. When Terri called her by name outside the abortion chamber, pleading with her to change her mind, her father Ishmael became enraged.
As Terri was pulled off to the side to deal with a woman who was changing her mind, Ishmael walked up to me and growled "I’m not stupid enough to beat you up when you’re out here, but I’ll get you later!"
Moments later, Maggie and her friend stepped over the edge of the FPA parking lot near me, heading toward the sidewalk. With the intensity of Ishmael’s attack, I hadn’t noticed whether they had come out of the abortion building or where they came from. So I said the catch-all line which we say when we don’t know what else to say: "is there anything we can do to help?"
"Yes," Maggie responded. "I’m looking for the woman who I talked to out here a while back. I was going in for an abortion then, but now I have a five month old little boy."
Pointing toward Terri at the other end of the sidewalk, I asked "was it her?"
"Yes," she responded, immediately recognizing Terri. Maggie explained that her friend was scheduled for an abortion and she hoped that Terri could help her.
As Ishmael’s attacks continued, Maggie and her friend decided to walk over to talk to him directly. Maggie told Ishmael how she appreciated our help and how she was thankful that she had kept her baby.
Maggie’s words forced Ishmael to calm down somewhat, responding reluctantly, "I’m glad that worked out well for you."
About that time Tom, a local minister, stopped by to pray as he does on a regular basis. He recognized Ishmael, calling out to him, but Ishmael refused to respond. I told Tom how Ishmael had just threatened to beat me up, and he replied, "don’t worry about Ish. He’s a good guy. He does the memorial services for all of the local veterans."
The pull of the devil is strong, and even those who are in the ministry can become his victims (though Ishmael’s threats and profanities made it difficult for me to believe that he is really in the ministry, I do consider Tom to be a reliable source).
Sadly, in this situation, the devil also succeeded in his plans to "steal, kill and destroy" the child of the young woman Maggie brought to us that day. We thought that she had changed her mind, but this week she went through with the abortion.
Seeing Terri on the sidewalk as she left with an empty, aching womb, she said "sorry Terri."
Now the devil who deceived her into aborting this precious gift will focus on becoming her accuser, reminding her of her sin as he continues his "steal, kill, destroy" mission in her life, not content with the death of her child but seeking to destroy the mother’s life too. Maggie’s precious little son and the child in her womb (yes, Maggie is pregnant again!) will be a continual reminder to this woman of her aborted child.
But the same Jesus who reached out to try to stop Maggie’s friend from aborting her baby, sending us with a message of Life for her baby, now comes to Maggie’s friend seeking to lead her on the path to repentance and forgiveness.
Saying "sorry Terri" on her way out of the abortion center isn’t enough. Worldly sorrow leads to death. We have seen tragic examples of this, such as the local woman who jumped to her death from the high overpass at the interchange of freeways 58 and 99 because of her post abortion sorrow.
But Godly sorrow leads to Life. Godly sorrow begins with an acceptance of God’s law, and an understanding that you have broken God’s law. If you have ever lied, stolen, or even looked at someone with lust, God’s law says that you are guilty and you deserve to suffer eternally in the fires of hell (and these are only three of the Ten Commandments).
But accepting the fact that you deserve the death penalty is actually the first step on the path to life (the path of repentance). Now that you know you deserve to die, Jesus steps forward to bring you the good news: “I paid the penalty for you.”
Jesus, who was fully God but also fully human, lived a perfect life on this earth. He never did anything to deserve the death penalty. So His suffering and death on the cross enabled Him to pay the death penalty on your behalf.
But it still takes an act of your own will to receive Jesus’ gift. You must place your trust in Jesus, displaying your faith in Him through your actions. If you truly trust that a chair is strong enough to hold you, you will act out that faith by sitting in the chair. If you trust in Jesus, you will believe that He knows what is best for you and you will trust His plan for your life even when it seems to conflict with your own plans. God has a special plan for your life, something only you can accomplish, but that plan cannot be realized until you turn away from your own plans and surrender fully to Him.
God brings situations such as unexpected pregnancies into the lives of people to give them the opportunity to trust Him more. I say this from personal experience, as Terri and I have experienced many unexpected pregnancies but God has used the experiences to help us turn away from our selfish interests and trust Him with our future.
Please pray with us that God will lead Maggie’s friend on the path to Godly sorrow, repentance, and Life.