A slice of my Wednesday life

In my last post I described to you my Monday kind of life. Today I’d like to give you a slice of my Wednesday life.

Wednesdays, as some of you know, are my days to volunteer at our crisis pregnancy center. Today two women were waiting as I arrived. With them was a baby and a toddler, both the children of one of the women. Since she was a new client I handed her the requisite paperwork to complete while I retrieved the correct size diapers and clothes that she needed for the baby. In retrospect I’m not sure she could read, at least not very well, because her friend “helped” her fill out the form and still it took her nearly half an hour to provide the most basic of information: name, address, children’s names, etc.

She requested clothes for her toddler as well, a sweet, quiet little girl with a dirty face, no shoes, and unkempt hair. We only have clothes up to size 24 months, I told her sadly. Our other counselor recommended a church in a neighboring town that offers a benevolence ministry once a week and I looked up the dates and times for her.

I asked the women if they attended church. They (of course) answered affirmatively but then upon further conversation confessed that, actually, no, they did not, at least not in a long while. I shared the gospel though neither of them looked me in the eye nor gave any indication they were listening or paying any attention whatsoever. The baby, however, smiled and kicked.

The mom asked for a baby bed, saying the baby was currently sleeping in the bed with her. I offered the option of completing a series of bible studies in exchange for a baby bed. Surprisingly she agreed. I hope she will do them. Maybe her friend will do them with her.

I had two other clients today, one a new client who knew she was pregnant but needed an official proof of pregnancy form in order to apply for government assistance. My last client I know by name because she and her husband and three small children come in for diapers regularly. They are a sweet, God fearing family who are needy. I don’t know much of their story except that they are Hispanic and love the Lord. I am glad they do come in once a month or so because it’s fun to see the baby grow and change. They shake my hand when they leave and they thank me with big smiles and broken English and the kids laugh at my “Adios!”

I sometimes feel slightly deceptive when I tell people I volunteer at the pregnancy center, not because I am in any way embarrassed by our work here but because they often assume we are then on the front lines of the fight for the unborn. It is true: we are passionate about the sanctity of life. We do occasionally have the abortion minded client and we pray for more to come to us for the truth. Yes, Lord, send us more!

However, my clients today represent the majority of what we do: provide diapers and clothes and pregnancy tests. And we are glad to do so, thankful for these cups of cold water that we are able to offer freely in Jesus’ name.

I’ve served women across racial and socioeconomic lines, young affluent women, women who speak no English whatsoever, women escaping terrible and abusive situations, women choosing to remain in terrible and abusive situations. Women whose husbands are in prison, women whose husbands are illegal, women who have no husband and have no idea who or where the father of her child may be. I’ve held babies who were handicapped, smiled and laughed with children who were filthy and smelled, and discussed the problem of evil and God’s sovereignty with a woman whose life bore the marks of the former causing her to doubt the latter.

These are conversations I would never have had apart from my work here at the center. I do not tell you these things for your admiration or appreciation. I confess them to you because I know my selfishness and my tendency to ignore those different from me.

My Wednesday life gives me a peek into the real lives and real struggles of real women and it reminds me again of the real gospel and that it is for real life. I’ve made this point before but I need to remember it again: most of what we evangelicals argue and worry about, whether it be complementarianism or Calvinism, these arguments have no bearing on these women’s lives. They need diapers. And clothes. And hope.

No doubt I am alone in this but here’s a newsflash: sometimes social media depresses me. I see the jockeying for influence and links and  followers and I get caught up in the frenzy and I find myself wanting to appear smart and opinionated and deep and wise. I know myself better than that but, still, I get sucked into a social media tailspin and I get frustrated and angry and depressed because my voice seems so small and it feels like no one cares about what I have to say and what I have to say seems rather dumb when there are so many smarter and with greater influence and it depresses me and…then…then I talk to a 25 year old woman who can’t read. Her children have no clothes. Her baby has no bed. And I remember all over again the realness of the need and the realness of the gospel and the realness of my privilege to serve her in the name of my Savior who loves me.

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

14 thoughts on “A slice of my Wednesday life”

  1. Thanks for the peek into your Wednesday life. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve got a way that “forces” you to spend time with women who aren’t like you. I need something like that in my own life. After reading “Kisses from Katie”, I feel even more convicted about that lack in my life.

    As for the social media…I completely understand. Even though I retain hopes of resurrecting my blog, I wonder if it’s worth the effort.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It seems to me that providing support for those who have chosen life is also important – we can’t stop with trying to save the babies at abortion clinics.

  3. Oh Lisa – I’m glad you wrote this – it helps to keep us grounded. My husband’s first pastorate was at an inner city mission church in an old Victorian house where we actually lived. I saw all these kinds of things as well.. I’ll never forget one Christmas when a homeless family came to our house for money to stay at a hotel and the little boys in their ragged clothes looked wide-eyed at our Christmas tree and decorations as though they’d never seen such a thing. My heart just broke. Oh how far afield we can get with these other things.

  4. Amen to the ending!
    I used to volunteer for CareNet as part of a team that gave “abstinence presentations” to the local youth groups. We tried to get a hearing in the public schools. To our horror, the parents didn’t want us there. 😦 I just assumed that parents would be encouraging their children to at least wait–even if they weren’t Christians. It really opened my eyes to the battle these kids are in.

  5. “No doubt I am alone in this but here’s a newsflash: sometimes social media depresses me. I see the jockeying for influence and links and followers and I get caught up in the frenzy and I find myself wanting to appear smart and opinionated and deep and wise. I know myself better than that but, still, I get sucked into a social media tailspin and I get frustrated and angry and depressed because my voice seems so small and it feels like no one cares about what I have to say and what I have to say seems rather dumb when there are so many smarter and with greater influence and it depresses me and…then…then I talk to a 25 year old woman who can’t read. Her children have no clothes. Her baby has no bed. And I remember all over again the realness of the need and the realness of the gospel and the realness of my privilege to serve her in the name of my Savior who loves me.”

    Absolutely beautiful, Lisa.

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