By: Thomas Fletcher Booher
You can read part 1 here.
"She didn't want the baby, and neither did I. We had long stumped for the pro-choice cause, so we were prepared for such a scenario, if you will. We went to the clinic to end her pregnancy and rid ourselves of the complications and fear of raising a child we didn't plan for. There were a few in our family who were opposed to what we were doing. I knew a minister who tried to talk me out of it, but I wasn't concerned about God punishing us for this. I felt we were justified in what we were about to do.
We comforted ourselves in how early the pregnancy was, and that the baby wouldn't feel any pain. If we didn't end it now, the baby would be born into a hard world, one we couldn't help him with. The doctors said the pregnancy could be risky, that her health, and the baby's, could be in jeopardy. We also used that as a panacea. Our pro-choice friends comforted us, recounting their own abortion experiences and how they overcame feelings of guilt and shame.
It was something that you couldn't understand unless you experienced it yourself. One minute and we were certain we wanted to go through with this. The next, we both, without saying a word to one another, were certain we would not. I think when you are trying to deny the evil of something so heinous so strongly, and when you think that you have finally come to a place where you have achieved victory, you leave yourself vulnerable to be blindsided. And that's exactly what happened."
I was at the hospital. It was two days after the Christian man was beaten, and just now he was well enough to talk with me. I came alone, my friend having returned to his own business.
The swelling on the man's face was gone and his wounds were healing, but it was clear he had been through a lot. A skull fracture, stitches, and a concussion left his mind a little foggy.
"Well sir, what was it that blindsided you?"
"A little girl named Ruth," the man said quietly. "She couldn't have been but four or five years old. As we approached the clinic, she sat on a bench, not with her mother, but her feeble grandmother. We of course had seen babies and young children since our decision, but we didn't let them get to us. This one wouldn't have either except that my wife and I both overheard what the grandmother and the little one said."
The man cleared his throat and reached for his water. I popped up and handed it to him, not wanting him to over-exert himself. He thanked me and continued.
"The old lady said, 'Thank you, little Ruth, for sitting with me here on this fine day. If it weren't for you I would have to wait for the bus all by myself, and who would I talk to?'
'Oh you're welcome grandma, I love talking with you and keeping you company.'
'Thank you child. You're such a blessing to your parents and I.'
I handed the man a tissue. "What was it about this child and grandmother that moved you so? That she called Ruth a blessing?"
The man drew a deep breath then looked me in the eyes. "No. It wasn't that the grandmother said the child was a blessing. It was that we could see she was just by her sitting there, on a bench, with no toys, keeping her grandma company under the blazing sun."
When the man said that, I saw a glimpse of something glorious. I thought of my wife and child, and had to get back to her. I thanked the man, told him I would return soon to visit, and left the hospital.