On April 3 (a Tuesday), Planned Parenthood gave away the Plan B "Emergency Contraceptive" away, free to anyone. A prescriptionn is atill needed for anyone under 18, but their nurse practitioner would be available to write the script. Josh C. made up a flyer to present the facts about this pill, and our objection to it. The weather was unstable most of the day, and we had a severe thunderstorm later in the day, but we encouraged each other to be there to speak to people about this, and about God.
About stepping onto the Planned Parenthood property: I have mixed thoughts about that still.
There was a young woman and an older woman (mother?) who came out of Planned Parenthood. Since they came out together, and the young woman carried some papers, I asked if they had come for an appointment, and if she thought she might be pregnant. (Yes to both)
Then I told her that I had some information about unborn children and abortion for her that I thought they didn't give her there. The young woman cheerfully came to me and I gave her the flyer with the 10 facts on it. I asked her name, and encouraged her to read it. Her name is Ashley, and I asked her to call me if she had questions or just wanted to talk. I stepped onto the property to write my name and phone number on the flyer.
Then she got into her car. They did not drive away, but sat for a while. Then the mother got out and went back into the building. After a while, the manager and the mother came out. The manager approached me and told me that I had every right to stand out here, and even to hand out these papers (there was my flyer, with my name and phone number on it, wadded up and smoothed back out, in his hand), but that I can't step onto the property to do so, that he has a long standing agreement with the protesters to that effect, and that if I do it again, he would not hesitate to call the police and have me arrested.
I told him that I was aware of this and that I stepped on the property in a gesture of kindness, and that I will be careful, but that if he felt like he needed to arrest me, that was OK. (I was very careful to have a humble and respectful tone.)
I told him that we had not met before and my name. I asked his name (John; I don't remember the last name), and as I shook his hand, he looked at my feet. I don't know for sure if they were on or off.
On the Thursday following this incident, a man came out of Planned Parenthood and sat in his SUV for about 20 minutes, talking on his cell phone. When he got out and went in, we said something to him. Then he emarged with a woman and a teen-age girl. I felt great disappointment that it was too late, and began to tell them about hope and forgiveness in Christ and ask them to come talk to us when he shouted at me, "You need to be on the other side," and waved his hand as if I should be on the other side of the alley. He used a voice like a coach; very authoritative. I let myself be distracted, and looked at my feet, which were clearly on the right side of the faint line on the parking lot, and said "I am!" Then he was in his car and pulling out. The opportunity was gone. Since then, I have felt fear when approaching the field of battle. I need to remember the words of the hymn:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
It is easy to become distracted. The issue is not which side of the line on the pavement I am on. The issue is not the more shocking one that the customers were being briefed on where the evil protesters are allowed to stand. The issue is what side of justice and mercy are you on? What side of Jesus are you on: Is He your righteousnes or your judge?