At one point in my life, I spent about six consecutive months sidewalk counseling five or six days a week. I stood outside the local abortion centers, trying to be a sign of hope.
I have written in the past about my motivations for sidewalk counseling. Today I thought I would share with you my seven most memorable moments, thus far, in this ministry.
1. Getting to See a Baby I Helped Save from Abortion
This was perhaps my most rewarding experience of sidewalk counseling thus far. Anyone who prays outside abortion centers will tell you meeting a baby after birth, who was saved from abortion is a great consolation.
I was outside an abortion mill years ago that just recently was leveled to the ground, thanks be to God. A young woman was driven up to the clinic by someone and she got out of the car.
Rather than make a brisk walk to the door trying to avoid me, like most abortion clinic patients, she came right to me. She said she had an appointment at the abortion center but wanted help instead.
I directed her to our sidewalk counseling director, who was in charge at that time and was outside with me that day. The lady who chose life that day went on to give birth to a beautiful baby girl.
2. Sharing an “Ah-ha!” Moment with an Abortion-Minded Couple
This is probably my favorite story from my time as a sidewalk counselor.
An older couple, in their 40s or so, came to an abortion mill one morning while I was outside counseling. The husband sporadically came in and out of the building, not wanting to sit in the waiting room all that time. Thus, I was able to speak to him.
He made it clear he opposed the abortion but felt it was his wife’s decision, since she would be the primary caretaker of the baby. I asked him to go verify that his wife even wanted the abortion.
Shortly thereafter he went inside, and brought his wife out. He came and thanked me profusely, with his pregnant wife by his side. Turns out she did not want to be there either, as she had assumed he did want the abortion.
The three of us shared a relief-filled celebration before they went home to raise their baby.
3. Learning I Helped Save Twins from an Abortion
Anytime you learn you helped a mother to choose life is a consolation from God you’ll cherish. Learning you helped to save twins from death is even better.
I remember a young woman of Russian descent chose to not get an abortion after speaking with me. She went on to have twin boys.
4. Having My Life Threatened
Sidewalk counseling has many great rewards, but it does come with some inherent risks. You are seeing many people on the worst day of their lives: the day they had their baby killed.
While sidewalk counseling at an abortion mill that no longer exists, I saw a man in his early 50’s or so bring in a girl who couldn’t be older than 18. After they went inside, he came out a while later to smoke a cigarette and walk around.
Trying to strike up a conversation, I asked him if he was there with his girlfriend. He walked quickly across the lawn and got in my face. We were forehead-to-forehead when he asked me what I said. I asked if he was there with his girlfriend. He then asked me if I wanted him to end my life.
The sidewalk counselor present with me that day immediately called the police. The man backed off and went back inside. When the police arrived, they asked if I wanted to press charges.
I chose not to that day. They talked to the man, who seemed rather sheepish whenever he came back outside afterward.
5. Being Shoved
Maybe two years ago or so, I was counseling when a man showed up on his motorcycle. He was a burly, older man. As he wandered around in the parking lot, I let him know there was a pregnancy resource center nearby they could go to instead.
I was standing in the public right of way, when he shoved me. I just smiled at him and walked away. The other counselors present called the police.
The police came and talked to us and then to him. I chose not to press charges, feeling sorrow for the man. I would be angry and beside myself too, if I was paying for and participating in the murder of my own child.
6. Seeing a Catholic Priest’s Prayer Cause a Couple to Choose Life before Ever Entering the Abortion Center
This was totally inspired by the Holy Spirit. Often enough, I do not know the words to say, so I let Him speak through me as often as I can.
A priest known well to me came to join us in prayer, as he often does, outside our local abortion center. The priest was busy praying exorcism prayers, when a young couple approached.
They refused to stop to talk to me, but I did manage to point out, “If you are looking for a sign from God you’re not supposed to be here, look! He sent a priest to pray for you.”
They never even went into the building. After walking right past the abortion center, they told another counselor there that I had convinced them to keep the baby. Praise God!
7. Seeing Simple Kindness Pay Off
The last thing I said to her as she walked away from me was “Your baby’s going to be beautiful, just like you are, Mom.”
She came walking toward the abortion center on the arm of her boyfriend and they didn’t want to stop to talk. I offered her assistance at the crisis pregnancy center, but that didn’t sway her. I told her I would be praying for her, and she didn’t stop. And I even told her how unsafe the abortion center was; she was not moved.
But then I told her that her baby would be beautiful just like she was. I found out later that she chose life for her baby, based on those words. After I had left that morning, she came out to tell another sidewalk counselor she chose life due to what I told her. She said her father was the only other one to tell her how beautiful she was.
The Holy Spirit knew what she needed to hear. He’s smart like that.
I hope this inspires you to try sidewalk counseling yourself. Please let me know if you are willing to try it for the first time.
As well, if you have sidewalk counseled in the past, I hope you will find consolation in reading this and be renewed in your efforts to continue.
Do you have an experience in sidewalk counseling you would like to share here?
Please let us in on your thoughts, below.