Our God is an Awsome God, A Story

The night was quite, the city deep in sleep this hour before the Sun began to rise into the sky and people would slowly start bustling about. We stood in the parking lot of an empty office complex. There was anywhere from 1000 to 2000 of us. Some people held tall banners that read things like "God is Good..Praise..worship". I was always fascinated by the banner flag waving churches. I had seen some flag people at our church, but not many. That was real popular now, in the early 1990s so the flag and banner people seemed very normal to me.

As we gathered we were all quiet. None of us knew quite what to expect. Who would be there guarding the Abortion clinic when we got there? We had been confronted at church the night before by bus loads of groups like Dikes on Bikes and Queer Nation. I had talked to several of them, or I should say I tried to talk, they were more interested in yelling at me and telling me explicit sexual things they wanted to do to me. I stayed calm, talked, didn't yell and I prayed. I think they were perplexed at their inability to get me to yell back or condemn them to Hell. For some reason, God had given me just the right words to say and not to say. His peace and calm had been with me. But more then that His love. I wanted them to know that He loved them, no matter how much they hated Operation Rescue or me, He loved them.

But today, there were more then a couple bus loads waiting around the corner, a block away, at the abortion clinic. As more of our people started to show up, we could actually hear their people showing up also. They were chanting, yelping, hollering. It was scary sounding. We all stood relatively quiet listening to the thunder of anger and hate coming from a block away.

By 5am all of us were there, ready to go. It was still dark. The pastors lead us followed by the worship leaders. We all were praying. The pastors had done a great job of instructing us to be prayerful. To seek God's love, to walk in it, show it, be humble, not to answer anger with anger but with love. That spirit was there. I could feel His love oozing out of the people around me as we started walking toward the clinic.

We were there on a mission to be sure. This would be a week long protest in front of and around the clinic. Operation Rescue had been holding these protest around the country for a few years. They were know for crawling toward the doors, being peaceful and non threatening to law enforcement. I had been involved in the fight against abortion since 1988 so I was thrilled at the idea of being a part of this protest. The biggest pull to me was the gentleness and kindness I saw in the participants. I saw women quietly praying or talking calmly to girls as they entered the clinic. Sure, every now and then there would be a renegade hater-christian who only knew how to react with yelling and anger, but when they started acting up, the leaders would go over and talk to them in love as well, try to reason with them, ask them not to participate if they were going to act like that.  The operation Rescue people were amazing.

As we were walking toward the clinic that crisp morning, in the dark of night,  the worship leaders started singing Our God is an Awesome God. My friend Ammye and I were near the front, walking closely with the worship leaders. The song rang through the night air and as everyone walking with us joined in, it slowly became louder. "our God is an awesome God, he reigns, from Heaven above, with wisdom power and love, our God is an awesome God.." we could still hear the roar of angry voices coming from the pro-abortion protesters, they were getting louder as we sang louder.

As we turned the corner we saw them. There was about 300-500 of them and they yelled in angry screams and chants. But all of a sudden, when all of us were around the corner, walking toward them singing in unison about the power and love of God, a hush fell over the pro-abortion protesters. I had not taken my eyes off of them. I saw their hurt, their pain, their anger and suddenly I saw them open their mouths in shock and awe, and silence swept through their camp. The night air only contained the sounds of voices singing "our God is an awesome God, he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love, our God is an awesome God". You could feel the cutting in the air, the power of God was dense. They fell completely silent and looked as if they were in complete shock. It didn't last but about 30 seconds maybe, I'm not sure but as they shook off the bewilderment they started chanting again.

Our group arrived face to face with them, separated only by a few feet that had been designated by law enforcement, Several police officers stood close by. The pastors knelt down and started to pray, the pro-abortion protesters started spitting at them.

That was the beginning of  a week long protest that changed my life forever.

Delta Woman's Clinic, Baton Rouge Louisiana, 1991. I was in this field.

Comments

fazha said…
Carol...great post. I remember as a young kid attending these protest. My parents have arrest records for sitting in front of delta women's clinic during operation rescue.
Carole Turner said…
I was arrested three times for operation rescue activities between 1990 and 1993 when the first abortion doctor was shot. That act took another life and ruined it for all of us trying to rescue babies peacefully.

This post was inspired the other night at the 5pm service at HPC when we sang, Our God is an Awesome God. It took me back, as it always does, to that morning and I knew I needed to write about it. :-)