So I have a habit of praying in front of abortion clinics from time to time.  Today was one of those times!
I’ve briefly alluded in a previous blog post (which was a pretty awesome first-hand experience) that I typically go with some youth and adults from my parish to everyone’s favorite abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood.  And that’s where we went to this morning.  
Due to hanging around back at our parish for carpooling, we arrived at the clinic at like 8:15AM, and the group already there had already started the Rosary.  I rode over with our diocese’s Youth For Life coordinator, and when we arrived, she went off to go be a sidewalk counselor.  Another sidewalk counselor showed up later.  It wasn’t particularly busy at Planned Parenthood this morning…the Youth For Life coordinator decided to go check out our other favorite abortion clinic to see what was up over there.  We progressed through the Mysteries, and after a while, the coordinator came back saying that some of us needed to go over to our other favorite abortion clinic to provide some prayerful reinforcements.  And some of the adults of our group go off and went to the other clinic while we finished up with our Mysteries and litany.
After we finished up, our youth minister suggested we go over to our other favorite abortion clinic to go drop a Divine Mercy bomb by praying the aptly named Chaplet.  So we roll on over there.  The previous members of our group were getting ready to leave…and…man…in the words of our youth minister, “It looks like a movie out here!” upon noticing both sides of the street divided by pro-lifers and pro-choicers with signs.  (sidenote: I need to blog about this other favorite clinic…)
And in the back corner, away from all of them are our favorite Franciscans! ….two of the brothers from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal!  A relief to see them!  We exchanged greetings and proceeded with the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  
After finishing the Chaplet, the other sidewalk counselor from earlier at Planned Parenthood showed up.  And…she started talking to our Youth For Life coordinator (who was sidewalk counselor-ing earlier, as well) to talk about a “save.”
Ms. Other Sidewalk Counselor (I forget her name), told us that there was a “save!”  Apparently a father was outside of the Planned Parenthood frantically trying to convince his daughter to change her mind about going through the procedure.  And she did.
Backup. Rewind.
So, apparently before anyone from our group got to Planned Parenthood this morning, our youth minister was by himself praying on the sidewalk in front.  He had noticed a grandmother, a dad, and a college-aged daughter (evidenced by the sorority shirt she was wearing) walk into Planned Parenthood.  Just an exchange of awkward glances.  No dialogue or whatever.
So, Ms. Other Sidewalk Counselor noticed the dad outside whenever we finished up at Planned Parenthood and she called him over.  She offered information and help.  Which, then caused the dad to try to contact the college-aged daughter inside of the clinic.  And the daughter and grandmother did end up leaving the clinic.  With smiles on their faces! With joy! With relief!  
And as MS. Other Sidewalk Counselor was conveying that…I couldn’t help but feel joy too knowing that our efforts today…whether direct or indirect…was enough to help a family reconsider their life-giving options.  Not every woman that walks into these clinics know what other options they have.
Cool stuff.  A “save” indeed.  I give props to the dad for doing the fatherly and manly thing–to protect and to provide.  And he only knew he can do so since a sidewalk counselor was there to provide the resources he needed.  He was able to protect his grandchild from harm, and he was able to protect his daughter from the harm from an abortion.  Awesome.
Stray thoughts regarding pro-lifey things…I’ve been thinking about becoming a sidewalk counselor myself.  I think I’m scheduled for training coming up in a month.  I’m excited! And nervous!  It’s not an easy ministry.
Lastly, the next 40 Days for Life campaign starts this Wednesday and I am signed up for an hour once a week, like last year.  Do expect some blogging as a result of that!
Anyway, please continue to pray for this family that decided on the right choice this morning.  The road ahead will be a challenging one.  And keep unborn babies, mothers, fathers, clinic workers, and abortion doctors in your prayers as well. 
– JD
PS Seriously, the other “save” I’ve been a part of was pretty amazing.  I detail it here in a previous blog post.