In our family we love the Christmas Season. Everyone you pass seems to be put in a better mood just at the thought of Christmas Day inching closer and closer. Each year, as we near the date of our Lord’s birth, I think about the choice that His mother, Mary made. We see in the bible the story of the prostitute near death by stoning. She was a sinner who had chosen a path that did not lead to heaven. The people of her town had chosen to punish her for her crimes. It was Jesus who stepped in to save this woman, not only from the stones that were so near to being hurled at her, but He also saved her from herself. He looks on her with pity and says to the crowd of angry townspeople those beautiful words “let the one who has not sinned throw the first stone”. Jesus then looks to her and says “Go and sin no more”.
You can’t help but wonder that as He looked at that woman, shamed by her path and full of sin, that he did not think about the danger His own mother was in upon accepting the Lord’s plan for her life. Mary was a sinless woman, even saved from the stain of original sin, and yet it was very likely that she could be stoned to death at the announcement of her pregnancy. When the angel Gabriel came to announce God’s plan to Mary she was given a choice, as we all are, to choose a path. She decided to follow the path that the Lord had set out for her, knowing what the implications to her life might be. Mary did not know what the future would hold for her, especially after Joseph decided to quietly divorce her, but she did not run out and seek an abortion (and yes, they did exist even in those days). She still trusted that the Lord would provide what she needed. Again an angel comes in to view and Joseph marries Mary to provide our Lord with the wonderful family that is needed to nurture his growth and strength.
Each day, women become pregnant unexpectedly. They are given a choice of two paths, one that leads to what God has chosen for their lives and one that leads to abortion. We have to remember that these same women have already chosen a path of sexual activity that led to pregnancy- but given the choice that has been made it is important that we be there to help them find their way back to the path that leads to God.
I have spent a lot of time lately talking to my boys about the two paths. I use it often as a way of steering them in the right way to behave. Often, they hear me say “You have a path to choose at this moment- you can choose the path that leads to a happy and fun day- or you can choose the path that leads to punishment for disobeying”. They invariably look at me and say“I want to go on the path that leads to good things”.
We all want to be on the path that leads to good things. When we get lost and fall away from the path, God puts people in our lives to help us find our way back. There are two paths in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic. There is one that leads to the sidewalk counselors, there to help with whatever a woman needs to continue her pregnancy, and one that leads in to the building for an abortion. God has helped to put the sidewalk counselors in the path of these scared women, to help them back on the path to heaven. Sadly many women are blinded by the tree’s blocking their view from the “angels” waiting to help them. How often does our Lord cry at the thought of so many of his children choosing the path of disobedience? How often does He weep at the thought of the life, meant for so much good in this world, that has been lost to abortion? How many children, meant to cure cancer or AIDS or find a way to power an entire city on water alone, have been lost because their mother chose the wrong path?
Yet, as many of these women choose the follow the wrong path, there are a few who find their way back. We have been blessed to see over 60 of these women choose the path that leads to heaven. They step in to the unknown- trusting that God will provide- and He does! We are blessed to be there as prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors- working for God to end abortion through prayer and presence. How blessed are we to be his vessels! As a sidewalk counselor we ask the Holy Spirit to speak through us as we talk to the women going in for abortions. We hope and pray that the words that come from our mouths are coming directly from God- not words of anger pointing out the sins of others- but words of love and compassion. We pray that the Lord uses us to help just one more woman to find her way to the path to heaven- bringing with her the innocent child that God has planned for this world. We hope that just one woman will “Go and sin no more”.