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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thinking on my feet

I am really bad at thinking on my feet, but I am not allowed that excuse anymore.

Instead, as a servant of Jesus Christ, I must be ready to give an answer for the faith that lives in me.

Today, at Planned Parenthood, the importance of getting beyond myself and living in Christ was brought to light for me.

A woman and a man pulled up and parked. As they got out of their car, I greeted them and asked the woman if she was there for an appointment. She looked as if she didn't understand the question, and I repeated it, and to clarify, asked if she thought she might be pregnant. She said something and I asked if I could give her some information about unborn children that I didn't think they would give her in there. She said she has two children and knows all about them, and that it was none of my business. I backed down.

(In this process, the couple was diverted from the easy entrance to the facility to the front entrance.) They finished their smokes and went in.

When they came out, as they passed me (again, going oit of their way to pass near me), she said that I need to go home and mind my own business. She had a package of "Plan B" pills. I told her (they were nearly to their car by now) that I was just here, speaking for those who couldn't speak for themselves; they're too little. *She came back accross the parking lot to tell me that if I knew how difficult this was for people (the pregnancy itself) I would go home and stop making people feel guilty for making a difficult decision like this. She said that I need to get a f---ing life.

All I could think of was, "I hope you do too." I didn't say it though, because I knew that it sounded beligerant, and not the way I meant it, that she would find life.

*Here is the change as I see it. This is where the discussion went from abstract to personal. Here is where she exposed her tender underbelly. This is where she showed me her pain. This is a woman at the well.

I didn't see this until I was on my way back to work. Have I become that calloused? In retrospect, I could see that when I mentioned the little ones, she became defensive. That is when she walked away from the protective shell of her car to come back to me. This is where she went out of her way to come face to face and eye to eye to defend herself to a complete stranger whom she will likely never see again.

Jesus would have seen this. Jesus would have taken this discussion right to the issue.

You cannot plan each conversation that you have. This is not a play with a script and a score. This is life and God brings people near and we have something to say.

God, put a guard at our lips and give us these words of life to share with those whom you bring near, and make us faithful to speak them. Give us eyes that can see the pain of others, and their real need. Give us love for You that is all comsuming, and compassion for those who are wandering.

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