We are commanded by God to love one another (John 13) “A new commandment
I give to you; that you love one another as I have loved you.” And He tells us in John 4,
“If anyone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love
his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
I set out to pray at Anchor Clinic, the abortion clinic in my town, to pray to end
the tragedy of abortion, to pray against the darkness and evil that has been preying upon a
generation of nations and its people. But what began as simply an outing to pray, became
a test of my own heart.
In the quiet of that place, with my crucifix in hand, I asked God to come in to me,
to ready me to accept His grace, to pass the tests of time and eternity. I asked Him to
empty me so that I could receive His love for I know, of myself, that I am a rebellious
woman. My rebellion, I was aware, took many forms in my life, ranging from anger to
pride to control. How could I stand outside this abortion clinic, and receive from God,
the prayers I was meant to pray unless He would rid the weaknesses of my flesh
that dared to constantly consume me?
Here, at this clinic, and in clinics that dot the landscape of this country, a great
evil has taken millions of lives and has scarred the insides of countless women. Women
walk among us - women who bear the scars of abortions—hidden scars inside bodies and
in hearts. And I prayed, from memory, “O send out your light and your truth…” (Ps 43)
I had my bible in my hand and I read, “O Lord, you God of vengeance, you God
of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth; give to the proud what they
deserve!....Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous, and condemn the innocent to death.”
(Psalm 94) And my hand tightened around my bible and my jaw became set. But what
began with scripture, made a dangerous turn --for the enemy knows scripture too. And
he entered into that space and he tempted me. And the hatred that I had kept hid away in
some secret corner of my heart was unleashed.
I stood face to face with the darkness that had taken residence in my heart all
these years. A vision of the abortionist that had taken my baby stood before me. He
was a faceless creature—for I had never seen his face. I had been asleep when he applied
his cruel instruments to my body and to others – for we were all lined up together—many
women, many beds. My blood, their blood, and the blood of our children spilled in that
room as our babies were ripped from our bodies. And the hatred for this man rose to
such a level that I was beginning to enjoy the feeling, enticing it to keep filling me.
“God, do you see this man,” I cried—“Such a coward, he could not show his face to me!
For he took my baby and then took my money and called it a day’s work.” I got up close
to the empty face of the abortionist. “Look at me!” I demanded, “You with no face!” I
was so angry and I screamed at him, “You are filthy… I despise you.”
Trembling, with crucifix in hand, I glanced down and saw my Lord. He was
crying. He told me that He cried for me. And I suspected what He was asking of me and
I knew He would next speak of my heart and of my hatred for this man. I defiantly said,
“Do not cry for me!” I said to Him, “I have admitted my own guilt, I have confessed——
is this not enough!? Do NOT ask me to do this also—to forgive” Jesus reached out to
offer the gift of His healing but I refused this gift, for hatred had anesthetized me and I
wanted only to be consumed by it.
My crucifix had been given to me by a brother in Christ who had, years ago, been
the first to pray for me, for the healing of my abortion. And now I see that this gift had
been known by God and had been preserved for me and for this moment. The power of
the crucifixion, the power of the prayers prayed over me, the richness of His grace—
which is the doorway to the Father-- spoke for me in that moment. I could no longer
speak to Jesus for I, in that moment, no longer recognized Him. I was slipping away into
the great darkness that swallows men up. But, I had been taught about God’s love by this
brother who knew the importance to speak and to pray for me. It was the life of these
prayers within me that preserved me. And I started to understand and to accept what
would be required of me to live out the commandment, “you shall love one another.”
But, to love with the heart of Christ would require a great obedience.
I had a daughter and I loved her very much. I gave her up to the enemy and the
cruelty of this world. In my own sinful heart, I sacrificed her. How many times had I
tried to piece together all the little parts of her body—to make her whole in my eyes—to
know her as God knows her. Oh, how many layers of wounds still lingered within my
fragile heart. And here I was, again, filled with intense anger and I feared what that
hatred would do to my heart. And I cried out to God, “Why is this happening to me?”
And He said, “Trust in Me; I want to heal you, I want to make you whole.” And so, by
the power of the prayers that had been prayed over me years ago, I cried out for Jesus to
help me. I prayed as Jesus taught me—help me, have mercy on me, a sinner. And He
reminded me that the help I sought would be by His strength, not my own. Still desperate
for answers, I pleaded, “Who is my enemy? Tell me! Where is the peace for which I
The fulfillment of the commandment to love can be found at the cross. As I stood
at the cross that day, and as I prayed at the clinic, the desire to love finally came in the
silence of my heart.
I know a mother who lost her child to the cruelty of the world. She stood outside
of the abortion clinic with me that day. Somehow she must have known how much I
needed a mother, dearest Mother Mary. I asked her about those who killed her son and I
asked her how she could bear it. I asked her how she could accept. I asked her many
Anger seeks to destroy life; it set to destroy my heart.
But, by His grace, and His grace alone, the pain in my heart has been transformed—now,
at a deeper level. Christ filled me with compassion for this man—this faceless
abortionist-- whose heart had been deceived and turned to stone. And I pitied him. Our
Father tells us to love our enemies and to pray for them. (Luke 6) So, while standing next
to Mary at the foot of the cross—with a mother who knows and who understands -- I
prayed as Jesus did, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23)