Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sidewalk Counseling: Reacting to a Near Miss

After nearly 30 years of sidewalk counseling ministry, we know how important it is to pray (before we go out and while we're there) for spiritual and physical protection. But then there are moments like one that occurred this morning that underscore that need...moments that almost necessitated the tape pictured on the left.

Claire and Quint and I were standing pretty close to one another on the sidewalk -- close enough to hear each other as we prayed together. But even when we're praying there, we keep our eyes open because we still want to be aware of what's happening in the Planned Parenthood parking lot and on the street. For instance, I give a little wave or nod to almost every driver going by. There's always a few who flip me off, a significantly greater amount who smile and wave back (sometimes with a thumbs up or a honk) and then the majority who desperately determine not to notice the pro-life people standing there.

And, trust me, trying not to notice several people holding large signs of cute babies and colorful banners blowing in the breeze emblazoned with such messages as "Mom, We Care for You & Your Baby" is desperately hard work indeed!

Anyhow, one woman was particularly buzzed this morning. She was zipping down 93rd Street in a new pickup at a really dangerous speed, especially given the curve that's right there at the PP abortion mill. But, as fast as she was going, she stepped on the gas even more when she saw us and purposefully swerved across in order to come as near to the curb as she could in order to scare us. And while doing this, she took one hand off the steering wheel to give us an obscene gesture. It was a dopey, sophomoric move but an extremely dangerous one too as the slightest loss of control would have wiped us out.

As it was, it happened so fast we hardly had time to flinch, let alone be frightened. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for answering those prayers for protection.

However, it was the reaction of the lady driving in the vehicle behind the crazy woman that really got to me. She had observed how the first woman had sped up and swerved towards us and her reaction was pure shock. Her eyes widened and her hand went to her mouth as if she was prepared to scream. I think she truly thought we were going to be run down. But even when we weren't, she still appeared very distressed. She drove by slowly, looking over at us in amazement. I thought she looked like she was about to cry.

Interesting. I have a feeling the lady (the second one) will remember this experience far longer than we will. After all, we're kinda' used to it -- though I'll admit this particular incident rates as an unusual degree of "opposition." But this lady may have seen for the first time just how deep is the divide in today's culture wars and how desperate and wrathful are those who have set themselves against the morals of Christian civilization.

I pray that awakening, as terribly alarming as it seemed to be for her, nevertheless bears profitable spiritual fruit in her life. Who knows, maybe she will be moved to start praying for our protection out there too. We would certainly appreciate that!