By Gerrit Van Dorland
I put the van in drive and turned my left signal on. Checking my blind spot before merging into traffic, I catch one last glimpse of the red brick building with white pillars. There is nothing unordinary about the building. It could pass for a typical American bungalow. To the right side of the building, a small green, rectangular sign reads: Orlando Women’s Center. I forced my attention back to the road. The rain patters lightly on the windshield and music plays softly in the background. I look in my rear-view mirror—everyone is lost in thought, deeply affected by what we had just seen. I drive on, supressing the emotions that well up. I turn the music up somewhat.
In this time of fear
When prayer so often proved in vain
Hope seemed like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away…
A song called “When you Believe” is playing. The lyrics resonate with me. In this time of fear . . . Fear. Fear for humanity. Fear for the mothers who were inside the women’s center that morning. Fear for the choice they had made—or fear for what they had been forced into by their “friends.” Fear for the little boy with brown curly hair and big brown eyes, who was holding his father’s hand tightly as they exited the clinic. Fear, for his precious sibling, along with the other children at the abortion clinic, because that morning, on February 22, 2017, they had been scheduled to die: scheduled to be torn apart, piece by piece, by an abortion doctor.
Hope seemed like the summer birds, too swiftly flown away. Hopelessness. Helplessness. The slaughter was taking place just a few feet away from me, behind that ordinary red brick wall, and there was nothing I could do about it. Someone should have reached these women long before they ever considered the thought of having an abortion. Someone should have talked to them about real options long before they were scared. Someone should have told them the truth before they were left feeling helpless, before they believed the lie that abortion was their only option. These women were the victim of many lies—lies of the left, lies of the Devil.
“It’s just tissue,” they were told. “It’s not killing. It’s not human. You can’t take care of your child. No one wants to help you with your child. No one really cares. You deserve the right to an abortion. Do with your body what you want—after all it’s your body, your choice.” Truth and love had not reached these women on time, and that is why we found them there at the Orlando Women’s Center that morning. These women thought this was their only way out. Society had failed them. We have failed them. Now, all there was left to do was pray.
God can still perform a miracle, I thought. He could still incline the women to exit the clinic. And so, hanging onto that feeble hope, we prayed that the slaughter would end. We begged God that these little boys and girls would be protected—that they would live to see the light of day. We pleaded with the women at the clinic that they would change their minds and allow us to help them.
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood . . .
As we prayed, we heard the door open. A young mother, visibly pregnant, stepped outside. She stood for a moment, looking at us as we sat to the side, and then slowly made her way towards John Barros. John stands outside the Orlando abortion clinic every day, showing love and compassion to the women and their children, offering his help to them and pleading that they will spare their tiny child. This woman had heard his pleading, and God had heard our prayers. By His divine will, her twenty-two week old child would live. He would get a name for his own. He would get to take first steps. He would get to laugh, play, stare at the many stars, and wonder at the magnificence of the universe.
The rain came down a little harder, and I flipped the wipers up a notch. The chorus started. I turned the volume up again:
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe
The lyrics sank deep into my heart, and an overwhelming feeling swept over me. Indeed, there can be miracles—we had witnessed two that morning—two mothers chose life. Two beautiful babies would be spared the sharp forceps of death. There can be miracles, when you believe—when you believe.
Yes, we live in a dark world. The remaining children still died at the Orlando Women’s Center that day. Thousands of other children still fall victim to abortion every single day. Thousands of boys and girls will never see the light of day. They will never get to soak up the warm embrace of their mother on a cold winter morning. They will never feel the strength of their father as he scoops them off their feet when he comes home after a long day of work. They will never wake up to the smell of blueberry muffins wafting in from the kitchen. They will never get to laugh, cry, sing, or dance—because they were deprived of life in their very first stages of development. Their mothers were lied to because we as fellow member of the human race weren’t there, showing truth and love when we needed to. I wonder, has the universe ever faced a night this dark? A night where the youngest, most vulnerable of our human race are deprived of life, and their remains disposed of in a dumpster?
And yet, there can be miracles. There has never been a night that was dark enough to withstand the rising of the sun. It’s miracles like the two I witnessed that morning that give me faith. I believe the killing will end. The tide is shifting against abortion: I witnessed it this past week as I saw many young pro-life activists stand up for life and compassionately combat the culture of death. I witnessed this as hundreds of students changed their minds about abortion, receiving the truth long before they’d ever find themselves in a situation where they might consider terminating a pregnancy. I witnessed this as two mothers chose life. I witnessed God’s Almighty hand working miracles in our dark, dark world.
I loosen my grip on the steering wheel, no longer supressing my emotions.
…now I'm standing here
With heart so full I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say
I’ve never felt such assurance, such faith, or such hope that this dark night will end. All we need is faith—faith in God, faith in our ability to effect change with His help. Faith, that as members of the pro-life movement, we can change this culture of death. We are the light bearers, shining on this dark, dark night. If we continue to stand for life, and head out on the streets and university campuses to reach society with truth and love, and if we continue to oppose the forces of evil, and if we pray unceasingly, we shall overcome. There can be miracles.
Morning will come—when you believe.
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