Last Thursday I went to our local hospital again for a check-up. I was slightly concerned about the fact that I had recently lost some more weight (of course the stomach flu didn't help that at all) and just wanted to check on how the baby was doing. An American doctor I had been consulting with also wanted to find out how I was measuring, and so I put the girls down for their naps that day, leaving Lou (my helper) in charge, and then headed to the hospital.
There was a slightly longer line, so I ended up waiting quite awhile, but in the end everything checked out fine. The doctor also thought I looked small so ordered another ultrasound, but thankfully everything looked good to the ultrasound technician. What a happy thing to hear that strong heartbeat and see all those limbs moving!
Everything was fairly routine until I was about to leave. I was finishing up talking with the doctor, and a woman came out of a nearby room, crying quite loudly. She had her winter coat balled up in her hands and had buried her face in it, crying all the while. She was totally alone. My heart went out to her, though at first I was not sure what to do. I started to walk toward the exit, and then I remembered my extreme regret the last time after I didn't say anything to the girl about to have an abortion. My spine stiffened in resolve and I turned around, only to find that the woman had retreated into the bathroom. I paused for a moment, just waiting, and soon she came out of the bathroom and headed toward the exit herself. I then took my opportunity to fall into step beside her.
She was still crying at this point, and so I just very quietly said, "Excuse me, you seem very unhappy. Is there something I can do to help you?" She immediately began to pour out the whole story. She had just had an abortion--but she didn't want it. The doctor told her that her baby was sick, and had a problem, so she should abort it, and her family agreed, but she didn't care--she wanted the baby. "I'm already 38, now I can never have another baby. Oh, my baby, my baby is gone," she said as she wept bitter tears. I empathized with her as we were walking, and she responded with the typical Asianese "It's nothing."
We continued down toward the street and the turning point came when I shared with her my belief. I told her that I knew God could help her, that God loved her, and to my surprise, she responded with vehemence. "No, God cannot help me. He can never love me, not now. He can't love me, I just killed my child." I told her again, "He does love you! Look, here I have something that can tell you about his love. Will you please take it?" She took it and seemed to calm just a little. As we parted, she went to catch a bus and I pleaded with her again to read the item I gave her, to be comforted, that God loved her, and we said a hurried goodbye.
I got in a taxi and came home, processing the event. It all happened so fast and I wished I had had more time with her, or at least gotten her phone number or name or something. Since then, she has really been on my heart. Will you ask our Father with me that though last Thursday was a terrible day in her life, that it could be the start of a great work in her heart? My hope is that someday, she might look back and say, with Joseph, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good."
I was quite surprised at how willing this woman was to open up and share with me, a complete stranger, about an obviously very personal crisis in her life. Could it be that more people are willing to share more often than I think, if only they were asked? This incident really gave me a renewed resolve to engage others in heart conversation as much as possible. May we all not pass up any opportunity to touch another heart for the Father as we go through our daily lives!