It was a typical day at the local community college Campus Crusade for Christ club meeting, a group that has double in size since the beginning of the year, but when doubling means adding only thirteen new students it’s still quite easy to recognize those who wonder in who are a bit out of place. A bit out of place was the perfect description of a young man who walked in just a minute late. He found a chair and sat down with his head slightly lowered, trying to not draw attention to himself.
After a slightly awkward “ice-breaking” game the conversation quickly turned to the topic we all came to discover and discuss. As words were exchanged back and forth across the room like a game of tennis between two seven year olds, my attention was turned towards the exposed arms and neck of the “slightly out of place” young man. Flowing fonts in your typical tattoo green spelled words that I couldn’t quite decipher. Maybe they were written in a different language, maybe I couldn’t read upside down.
When my eyes moved from his skin art to his eyes it dawned on me that he not only looked out of place but felt out of place. At times throughout the conversations his down cast eyes would fill with tears, but never did they run over.
Soon the hour club meeting of CRU drew to an end and I made a point of getting myself in front of the this tattooed, muscular, bald man. We chatted a bit about him being at the college to get his GED and then to get a practical job that will help him care for his wife and three children. “Three children?” Was my thought. At 25 years of age he has quite a family. Soon his conversation turned to his wife of seven years and their extremely rocky marriage, his being in and out of jail, and about his restraining order, which didn’t allow him to see his wife or children. I remained intune and concerned for this young man, who was feeling remarkably comfortable sharing his story to a complete stranger.
Then he told me that he is very concerned for his wife, whom he really loves. “Why are you so concerned?” I asked.
“She is pregnant and going to have an abortion.” He replied.
Without thinking, without rehearsing my reply in my head I blurted out, “We will take the child, don’t let her abort. We will take the child.”
He looked at me, not knowing what to say.
Giving him my cell number and email, I asked, if not begged him to call me later that day and then encouraged him and his wife to break his restraining order and come to our home together and talk. He had to run to a class. I put my hand on his thick frame and prayed a prayer of protection and wisdom on him.
Later that day his wife called me and as she told me her name I recognized it as the cursively fonted tattoo on the back of the young man’s neck. I was ecstatic that she took that gamble. We made an appointment for that Saturday morning with both of them at our home.
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009, 10:30 am rolled around and they drove up, and walked across our lawn and into our living room. For the next 3-1/2 hours we listened to their story, the journey that they have found themselves fighting for life through. Patiently they both shared their side of the story. Then Kristine and I poured into them. We loved them, affirmed them, encouraged them, counseled them, and shared the love of the Holy Father with them.
Their faces showed the transformation that only the Holy Spirit can bring to a person.
At 2 pm, after a prayer of grace, they rose from our couch a new couple. They will continue to have pain and struggle through the coming months, but they have agreed to meet with us and start on a different journey, one of healing and re-creation.
She had an appointment at 1 pm that same day at the abortion clinic, but she walked out of our home at 2 pm with hope and a new found desire to raise their new baby. This child will change the world!
We are seriously in the business of saving lives and God allowed us to have a first hand experience that saved the life of an unborn child and the lives of a man and woman and their other three children. This family has a long road of healing ahead of them but God is going to use them and their stories in ways they can’t even imagine as they share with others and are part of saving lives themselves.
Thanks be to the Great Life Saver!