Cheryl spent Friday evening hosting a gala event with her husband, the mayor. Saturday morning she walked the litter-strewn streets on the seedy side of town. Surely no-one would expect to see her there! She herself was surprised to be there.
On the corner stood a scantily clothed young girl, shivering from the cold. Or perhaps shivering from hunger. She wore a look of feigned seduction but her eyes wore the truth. Within them lay the desperation and hopelessness of her prematurely aged heart.
With a deep breath Cheryl walked with purpose toward the girl. She remembered her youth, the drug abuse, the fear, the loneliness. She remembered her timidity and social terror. As she approached the young one, she once again felt gratitude and humble joy spread through her soul. ‘But for the grace of God…’
This was why she could no longer remain silent. This was why she would yell it from the street corners to the pulpit. Grace is intended for those who are flawed. And she would offer this grace to all who crossed her path.
“Honey, do you want to get a cup of coffee? There’s someone you should meet.”
Ernest spent his Holidays as he always did, on the streets. It was a particularly cold winter in California this year. But soon enough, the heat from the turkey dinner warmed his hands as he served plate after plate to the eagerly awaiting cast-offs.
Sure, some smelled like they had just come from a distillery. And yes, others exuded the look of a mind gone mad with drug abuse. But Ernie’s heart went out to them just the same. There were also mothers and children shyly holding out their plates, ashamed to be standing there but too hungry not to. The children would eye him suspiciously…with his white beard he looked an awful lot like Santa. But he was so skinny! Maybe Santa didn’t get much to eat this year, either. And then when he handed out the toys to all the children, they would exchange knowing glances. “He IS Santa! He didn’t forget us!”
Ernie passed away this year. He left behind a legacy known only by the Lord and the hungry. But his heart of compassion earned him a special spot in the Father’s house…he and the many lost souls that were found because of his love.
She was only fifteen and was about to commit murder. If she moved fast enough she wouldn’t have to think about it! If she shut down her heart, she wouldn’t have to feel it. It was a mistake! In one moment the mistake would be erased, no one the wiser. After all, the law allowed her to make this decision all on her own!
But her nosey sister told her aunt, who told her father. Before she knew it, an entire network of brothers and sisters in the Lord were praying for her and pleading with her.
Karen called everyone and asked them to pray. Kristi had her watch a film of an actual abortion being performed, filmed from inside the womb. Her dad begged her to keep the child, saying he loved her no matter what. Jared called every day, sometimes three times a day to tell her he would always be there for her.
But she tuned everyone out. ‘No. I need to get rid of this. It was only one mistake!’ She turned a deaf ear and a hard heart to everyone who reached out, finally refusing their calls. She had scheduled the abortion for the following day. Her friends and family continued to pray anxiously, feeling the torment as if it was their own. It wasn’t too late. It’s never too late. It couldn’t be too late!
The morning came, the morning went. They were desperate to talk to her. And then the news came. The news spread like wildfire, person to person, telephone to telephone, even in cyberspace.
Annie went to bed determined to go through with it. But when she awoke, she simply changed her mind. No bells, no banners, she just didn’t want to do it any more. Instead, she chose to put away childish things and became a loving mother to an incredibly handsome and precious little boy.
If you visit the church they attend and keep your eye out, you can see her little two year old son actually raising his hands to Praise his Savior during worship.
These heroes’ ballads have now been sung.
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