What is it like to be a designated “abortion person” in your church and community? Well, for me, it’s a little like eating the old “jaw breaker” candy. It’s good and it’s hard.
It’s good to be able to help people. Babies are protected from a horrible death, moms are spared from an act which can haunt them for the rest of their lives and people who love Jesus are encouraged to be light in a dark world. With the exception of leading someone to Christ, there is hardly anything more fulfilling than being used of God in a life and death situation.
Of course, as many of you know, things happen almost in spite of us rather than because of us. God just seems to bless us that way. Just this week a pastor asked me about my jail experience in ‘90 and ‘91. He wondered why I felt it necessary to give up my job and live at a lower level of income. Would it not have been better to keep the job and give the money to the Lord’s work? Well, I scratched my head and said I really didn’t intend to lose my job and all that money. I just tried my best to do what the Lord wanted me to do and the rest, as they say, is history.
You see, I thought I could save babies by being a lump in front of an abortion clinic door once in a while and still keep my current lifestyle intact. Then, providentially, during a rescue in September of ‘89, I was asked by a leader to move to another door. I moved to that door and within 30 seconds the police came and arrested only those at that door. As a result, the clinic named me in a lawsuit and a judge demanded that I promise never again to be a door lump or go to jail until I did promise.
I went to jail, the judge said, with a key. I could open the door any time I wanted with a simple promise. As the days turned into weeks I often prayed and said, “Lord, what do you think? How about I make the promise, get out of here and get on with my life?” Well, He answered that question through His Word. Every time I asked the question my thoughts would go to Daniel chapter 3 where it is recorded that three Jews refused a direct order to bow down to an image of gold. These were men with high paying jobs as government administrators. All they had to do was lay down on the ground for awhile and everything would be just hunky dory. The problem was they didn’t and so I figured God was telling me something.
I continued with the “jail ministry,” lost my job and, after a year, was released to go on trial. We were slapped with a multi-million dollar judgment of which $600,000 was mine. After the trial the “promise or jail” thing never came up again and I never raised my hand to ask about it.
Through those days God did many great things and affected many lives. Most of all He blessed my family with the closeness and comfort of The Holy Spirit which is the biggest reason it has all been so good.
The hard part is the continued responsibility of following the Lord, wondering if there isn’t so much more He would like me to do. I often get the sneaking suspicion that I tend to place myself in the most comfortable and least sacrificial position possible. My thoughts these days keep going to 1 Peter 4:12 16.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”
So, it is supposed to be hard. At least we are not to be surprised when it is. My job is like your job. It is hard, at times, but it’s good, too. Good because we bear the name of Jesus, who knows what hard really is, and good because we are privileged to work for Someone who dearly loves us, and writes for us the job description He knows to be best.
This article appeared in the Sept./Oct. 1993 issue of Eternal Perspectives.