Our siege Last Friday was just like so many before it. I was blessed with the sweet presence of the Lord near my heart as I communed with Him in gratitude, but even in the midst of sweet communion, I struggled to maintain focus on the task at hand. I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles for concentration standing as we do. In this digital age of constant connectedness, it’s difficult to unplug even for an hour. It’s so easy to forget what we’re doing and why.
I work right next to the Supreme Court and the Capitol building. The decisions that affect the direction of our nation are made just outside my front door, and I’m too concerned with the day-in-day-out activities of my life to notice. I live in the most important city in our nation, and the reality of it only occurs to me occasionally. Some early mornings when I’m struggling to wake on my way to work, I realize that bright white glowing building I’m approaching is something people travel thousands of miles to see. The majority of the time it’s just a mile marker, a tool for measuring if I’ll be late.
Last Friday as I stood in front of the building where Roe v. Wade was decided, my mind was wandering from prayer. A few tourists started up the stairs, quietly talking to each other in another language. I felt like they were from China, but decided that I haven’t heard enough Mandarin to really tell the difference between eastern languages. My mind was wandering. They were asking each other about what we were doing, but not near enough to engage in conversation. I was wondering if they were going to talk to our spokesperson, and what he would say. My mind was wandering.
Eventually, the soft-spoken woman approached and asked what we were doing. “We’re praying for the ending of abortion,” he said. She paused and asked, “I am sorry, I do not understand, can you say again?” “We’re praying for the ending of abortion.”
“What is that?” she asked, not familiar with the word.
“It is, you know, when a woman has a baby inside of her, and they take it out.”
As he continued to explain to the woman, my heart came to attention. The naked cruelty of abortion is never more evident than when you have to explain it to someone who does not know english. You can’t build a sterile bubble around it using words like “fetus” and “tissue,” you can’t philosophise or justify with societal buzzwords and modern ideals. When you have to communicate “abortion” outside of english, it is stripped naked to it’s brutal reality: a baby forcefully removed from it’s mother.
After a thoughtful pause the woman exclaimed, “Oh! We should stand here with you! We should stand for our nation– we are from China.”
As soon as she spoke tears streamed down my cheeks and quiet sobs racked my shoulders. They were a family of three. A father, a mother, and their son– their only son.
My heart ached with compassion for the woman, who knows what dreams she may have had for daughters? Who knows if she was forced into abortions? I couldn’t imagine the reality of brokenness, and I was ashamed of my flaky prayers and wandering mind.
In that moment, that small moment of personal connection, my heart was gripped again and my mind didn’t wander anymore.
Abortion is not just a legal decision that needs to be overturned. Abortion is not a social ill that taints our nation. Abortion is the actual, violent murder of tiny babies and women’s hearts and dreams. Abortion is tearing apart the hearts of real women, women sitting next to you on the subway, or the table over at lunch. Abortion targets the weak and needy, the broken and hurting and violently desolates what it touches, seizing joy and violating a person’s very soul. Abortion is egregious not as a concept, but as a cumulation of each unique and individual act of rape it perpetuates on each individual human heart.
When next you take time to pray for the ending of abortion, let it become real to you again. Remember those in your life it has affected. Remember the millions of women in China being forced to abort their babies, and think of the hearts of individual women being broken. Don’t compartmentalize it. Remember abortion for what it is, and let it break your heart.
“Life” in Mandarin
LifeNews Note: Stacie Kuhns writes for the Bound4Life blog.