Pro-life activists are very used to never knowing what effects their prayer and witness at an abortion clinic has, whether it saved a life or not.
Yet the other day, I was blessed to hear a very encouraging testimonial from someone affected by a pro-lifer praying outside an abortion clinic, many years before.
During my recent one-hour 40 Days for Life shift outside the Albany Medical Surgical Center abortion facility in Chicago, I prayed and meditated by myself on the public sidewalk in front of the clinic. About 50 minutes into my shift, I ventured back across the street to the 40 Days for Life headquarters tent.
A few minutes later, a woman pulls up no more than 10 feet away from me, in her SUV. I am thinking she wants to start an argument (if you’ve prayed outside an abortion clinic, you’ll know that’s not an uncommon occurrence), but I smile at her. I am pleasantly surprised when she calls out to me and the first thing she says is, “Don’t ever be discouraged that you don’t see results!”
She went on to introduce herself as “Sharon”, and she shared with me that she herself had pulled into that very same abortion clinic 20 years before heading for an abortion, because she was young, single, and pregnant.
Yet, she saw just one man praying so fervently outside the clinic — kind of short and dark haired — and his image is forever engraved in her memory.
Seeing this man and his ardent prayer for the women (and babies) entering that clinic was a sign from the Holy Spirit to her, and she turned back and chose life. She went on to have her baby girl, and later two other children, and she is now a happily married charismatic Christian.
Her daughter whom she had planned to abort is now a young mother herself, and just gave birth (albeit an unplanned pregnancy) to her first grandchild, a grandson. She encouraged her daughter every step of the way, saying a baby is a gift no matter what the circumstances.
Sharon’s story was a very reassuring testament that people praying outside an abortion clinic do have an impact — even if they do not always have get the chance to see results firsthand. That one short, dark-haired man made all the difference, and there will be generations to follow (already two generations) that owe their life to his presence that day 20 years ago.