For some reason, I have a tendency to go through life seeing only what is in front of my face. Some might call it tunnel vision; some would call it self-centeredness. I suppose that is an accurate label, but it is too kind.
I have a tendency to learn slowly, and I am not much of a multi-tasker. Thursday mornings at Planned Parenthood have been a learning experience for me. God has taught me a plither of things, some of which I have already commented on. In His light, we see light. I have been walking in the sunshine of His light on Thursdays. I have treasured my time with Him. The iniquity of the world in which we live can drive us further under His wings, even as He sends us out as light to shine His light on it.
I cannot attempt to comment on what has happened yet. I will just tell about it. There are ramifications of my actions. Have I set myself on fire? Do I have singleness of heart?
When I got to Planned Parenthood this morning, Ms. Starbucks wasn't there, so I didn't have to decide whether to offer a cup of hot coffee in Jesus' name. I parked way down the street and a short slim man, dressed in a double breasted suit walked toward my van smoking a cigarette and blowing smoke up in the air in a strange gesture. He caught my attention because of the way he was dressed. I thought he might be a flashy lawyer; definitely dressed to impress. The way he blew his smoke straight up, tilting his head to do so also struck me as odd. For a paranoid moment, I thought he might give me a hard time for parking there. He walked past, but immediately behind my van, I saw him waiting for a break in traffic to cross the street. After crossing the street, he proceeded back the way he came, and passed Planned Parenthood on the opposite side of the street.
Thinking I was now safe, I put him out of my mind and walked up the side walk to PP. I probably would have forgotten all about him, but Carole told me that she thought we had a pimp bring a girl in. (So now I have had two surprises at PP: There are Catholics in Bedford, and there are pimps in Bloomington!)
It seemed like a day for visiting. Carole said that 13 women had gone in for abortions. The Catholics took forever to get to the rosery. There were no friars. Carole and I talked for some time and when she was helping someone put up a sign or something, I turned and found Glen walking my way. I was glad to see him. I had not prayed or read Scripture. I felt like this was a social gathering. Glen and Carole and I talked for a while and then a fellow faithful protester came along and we talked some more.
In a surreal moment, I found myself looking into Ms. Starbuck's eyes as she hung out of a pickup's driver's side window and threw a mess of hangers on the ground at our feet. I couldn't make out what she said exactly as she sped away, but I knew what she meant. I have heard another woman talk about pregnant girls in the old days using hangers.
In a moment, she redirected our conversation and thoughts. I felt ashamed that I was there for one purpose and was caught lacking. This was a vivid reminder of why we were here. It is however another Sanballatian tactic (Nehemiah 2:19 & 6:1-7). The man who was talking to us immediately discredited the implied claim by recalling how he heard someone (who's name I forget) state that the statistics of women dying in illegal abortion clinics were simply made up (just as Nehemiah did in 6:8).
Carole brought this incident to the attention of the security guard, who said that he could do nothing about it. We picked up the hangers, and Carole was going to see if Backstreet Mission could use them. Then Glen and I joined together to read Psalm 10 from the curb and to pray before I had to get back to work.
You will see on my sidebar that Glen is my hero. This was his second time at Planned Parenthood. Last week he asked me to pray for him that God would give him strength to go regularly. He works second shift and gets home anywhere between 1 and 4 am. He was very tired last night. He slept hardly at all Tuesday night. I set his alarm with the understanding that he might need to reset it. So you see my heart was warmed when I saw my hero coming up the sidewalk to join me there.
It took me a couple of months to tell anyone that I was going to Planned Parenthood on Thursdays. I am a coward! A chicken. Glen is my hero! He told me today what his older daughters think of us for going to protest at Planned Parenthood. I (the fool) asked him how they knew! He told them! He tells people all kinds of things! He is pretty transparent. I think that is the way to be.
I want to be like that.