Difficult Days on the Sidewalk
May 5, 2020
These have been difficult days for our sidewalk counselors. Of course, there aren’t really any easy days on the sidewalk, but the Coronavirus has added another layer of difficulty and potential hazard.
Eyes are the window to the heart, and with masks on, it’s harder for counselors not just to project their voices, but to project the love they have for the clients.
During the back and forth arguments between judges regarding whether abortions are "essential" during this health crisis, we were blessed to have a few days that were abortion-free in Dallas. On many days, though, we didn't know when or if the abortion facilities would reopen, so our team was on call.
On one of those days when the abortion facility was staffed but not yet accepting clients, Joanne -- our sidewalk counseling director -- was there and ready. A young couple in a nice car pulled into the parking lot, got out, and started to the side door. Joanne didn’t hesitate to hurry across the street to meet them.
None of their family and friends knew the young woman was pregnant, and her husband was pushing for abortion. He said they just wanted more information, but Joanne knew the pressure tactics that would be in play when they entered the facility.
“What would you name him, if the baby is a boy?” she asked the husband.
“I’d name him after me,” he said.
That understanding and acceptance that a baby is a person, not just a clump of cells, can be the first step away abortion towards life.
Joanne talked more to the couple about the beauty of bringing new life into the world and gave them her phone number and resource information. That afternoon, the young woman called her to let her know that she was eight weeks along and they were keeping their baby. Praise God!
A second time that day, Joanne saw a young woman park and head toward the side door. Again, Joanne was able to help.
A third time, Joanne ran across the street to speak to a woman who began to cry when Joanne came closer. “I told myself I wouldn’t do it if someone was out here. Thank you.”
What would have happened if our front line support had not been there that day? Thank God, we will never know.
We are most grateful to the Council for Life for its generous grant in support of our Sidewalk Counseling Ministry, especially in these challenging times.