People ask me, “When is the best time to come pray?” I guess they are asking when is their prayer the most effective. Maybe during the cool of the morning, when the workers are going in. They’ve spent time away - at home with their families, trying to convince themselves what they’re doing is okay, or even good. They’ve done what they can to forget what they saw the day before. In their short walk from the parking lot to the office, we have the chance to witness that, no matter what they’ve done, we love them too.
Or perhaps the best time is a bit later in the day, when clients begin to arrive. The women who’ve asked God for a sign that they shouldn’t go through with their scheduled abortion drive past us, sometimes parking and joyfully coming over to tell us that their prayers have been answered - just by our being there. Others hide their faces from us, ashamed at what they are about to do. Having us see them makes their consciences burn - enough, we hope, to drive them away.
The weather can change, but the sidewalk doesn’t get any softer. Volunteers who kneel on the sidewalk to pray always astound me. How can the sight of their sacrifice not affect the workers and the clients, no matter the time of day?
Late afternoon is the saddest time for me. The rides come, grim-faced fathers who’ve failed at the most basic responsibility a man has – protecting their own children. They load up their wives or girlfriends into the car, often in the backseat so the women can have more room. One counselor used to describe them as looking “shredded.” And that’s pretty accurate. Dazed, in pain, stunned with regret and loss – the sight of their faces can bring me to tears. I hate being outside the abortion center then. Which must mean it’s the time when my prayers are most needed.
For others, the best time to pray is whenever God calls you to be there for His children.
By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director