September 4, 2008

Keep Her on the Line

"Hi, could I schedule an abortion?"

Deep breath.
I'm supposed to have a well thought through response to this, but I don't.
Keep her on the line. Keep her on the line.
It's the mantra running through my thoughts.
Keep her on the line.

Short, power-packing words dance by.
"I was drunk."
"My husband doesn't know."

Stories. I tell stories... about my friend Lina* who has a pair of deep blue baby pajamas hanging on her bedroom wall to remind her why she's living in a cramped apartment downtown, sent away from her parents' home, kicked out of her boyfriend's house... and Lina knows her little Blazen will be worth it.

Adoption. I talk about adoption...
"Oh, no" Resolution in an otherwise quivering voice, "I could never do that to my child"

But mostly, I just listen.
Not the patient listening of a wise, removed counselor.
The frantic, praying, pleading listening of one who doesn't know which words will hurt and which words will bring tiny shreds of hope.

Every idea is a step onto melting ice. If she listens, I take another step out, feeling my way with numb, shaking toes. If she pulls away with her words, I...
Deep breath.
I'm supposed to have a well thought through response to this, but I don't.
Keep her on the line.

"I just want to save my marriage. Marriages are supposed to last longer than a year, right?"
"I lost a baby at 2 1/2 months last year, and my husband is still upset about that.
"I just want to save my marriage. I just want to save my marriage."

Would she come in to the pregnancy resource center to talk more?
Not a chance.

Would she like to meet for coffee somewhere? Just hang out after work tonight?
And texts flew back and forth from my little flip-phone to a satellite in space to her little flip-phone. And a few awkward phone calls interrupted loads of laundry. And when we met for dinner one week later she told me how excited her little brother is to be an 8 year old uncle and how the ultrasound picture pinned on the office bulletin board looks like a gummy bear. And the sense that I am just a bystander watching the hand of God at work washes gloriously over my soul.

Sometime I'll write about the next time the telephone rang. I'll write about Ashley* who demanded an ultrasound to see if she was "too far along" to rid herself of the baby. Apparently 4 months along wasn't too far, for her baby disappeared last week Wednesday.

But not today. Today I'll write from a rejoicing heart about the beating heart of a single baby.

*Names changed for privacy.


The Farmer Files said...

I am glad you are plugged into a PRC! LIFE is precious.

Grateful we can thank God even when situations don't always end for the best.

J.E. said...

Wow. That was incredible. Your ol' lil' brother...he has a had a hard time breathing reading that one. Thank you so much for sharing Jesus with me again.