On our way to Planned Parenthood on Bleeker Street this week, I was praying that God would send someone, or a group to join us outside praying and talking with the women going into the clinic. After a few hours, and little success, a man arrived who said he was there to pray. He stood silently opposite the main doors and prayed the rosary. The incredible witness he provided the help Michelle and I needed - it boosted our morale and gave us the encouragement we needed to stick it out for a while longer.
At around 10am, a girl walked into the clinic, she walked straight past and said 'Don't speak to me'. I looked behind her to her boyfriend whose eyes looked apologetic and sad; he took a leaflet. A while later he walked out and chatted with the PP volunteer at the door for a while. He ended up sitting about 50 yards away looking lost. Michelle told me (because he had taken the leaflet) I should probably see if he was ok. I walked across, expecting to be blanked or sworn at. But what actually happened was quite different - here was a man sitting on the steps, head in hands, heartbroken and confused. I sat with him for around an hour and discussed all sorts of things, but mostly we discussed the evidence for and against the existence of God. Interestingly, he had a tattoo of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his arm - a good talking point. Turns out he lost faith in God at the age of 19 when he started questioning his faith with no one to give him satisfactory answers. He was polite and keen to chat - he said he'd thought a lot about it but had never had a conversation longer than 2 minutes about the Church and God. I directed him to a fantastic, newly redesigned website answering many of the big questions we all have. (available at: www.faith.org.uk)
Whilst I was speaking with him, his girlfriend phoned - the procedure had been started and she was in pain. As I sat and looked out from the steps, it really struck home, the twisted nature of abortion. Here was a man, (a good, polite man from what I can gather) who is on the phone with the person he loves most in the world, as a stranger takes their unique child from her womb... Heartbreaking. He felt it. The pain was clear. For all his baby was not given the chance to explore and question life, the experience of his girlfriend made him swear that he would never allow himself to be in this situation again. I gave him my number and pointed him to the leaflet where there are contacts for post-aboriton counselling. Maybe he or his girlfriend will find healing at some point.
As I've said in every blog so far - prayer is so important. Perhaps this time we can pray for lost fatherhood. For the men who have lost children through abortion. For those who regret suggesting to their partners they get an abortion, and for the men who didn't get a say in the matter. And maybe especially for the ones who forced their partners to get an abortion, that their hearts will be changed and healed.
Over and out.
God bless, Vx.
Our Lady of Gaudalupe, pray for us.
St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.