“Well, here goes”, I said with a sigh, as I turned the dial to 910 AM, Guadalupe Radio Network, landing in the middle of a now-familiar show called The Good Fight with host Barbara McGuigan.
Barbara spoke in her usual, soothing voice while addressing a man who had called in—an older gentleman whose loving voice reminded me of my Grandpa Lupe. He was discussing the pro-life work he had been doing, how he had been fighting for years to prompt change, and how important this was to him.
If I had known what was coming, I might have turned off the radio; but since part of me was curious, I waited eagerly for Barbara’s response. After all, whenever the topic had to do with abortion, I was all ears, especially since 40 Days for Life had shown up at our clinic during Lent.
Barbara began, “You know, one day we’re all going to stand before God, and I believe he’s going to say, ‘What did you do?’”
I could feel myself tense up.
“First of all, he’s going to say, ‘Did you know about the pro-life cause? Did you know that over three thousand babies a day were being ripped from their mothers’ wombs piece by living piece?’”
I cringed. At that moment, it was as if God was speaking to me through Barbara, and I saw myself now standing before the Lord. It was no longer Barbara but God talking, and not to some random radio caller, but to me.
“And if you say, ‘Yes, Lord, I did know’, I believe he’s going to say, ‘What did you do?’”
What did you do, Ramona?
“Oh God,” I said breathlessly, “oh, my God.” I clutched the steering wheel as if the vehicle were still in motion or as if I might faint in the sudden rush of emotions.
All those months listening to this station, searching for an answer to the question I had been holding deep inside and revealing to no one, not even to my husband, Eugene, arrested me in one clear whisper of truth:
Nothing—that’s the answer, Ramona. You’ve done nothing at all to stop it. Far from it, you’ve done many, many things to make it possible. Yes, you ... you’ve been leading babies, along with their mothers, to their deaths, if not of the body, then of the soul. You are culpable.
“No”, I said aloud, denying it, yet knowing it was true. “Help me.”
Faces of all the young clients I had “helped” during the past three years—pretty girls, sad girls, scared girls—flashed at me. They had walked into our clinic looking for answers, for someone to give them some kind of hope. But I hadn’t given them that. Instead, with a smile on my face, I had handed them some brochures about safe sex and a packet of pills before sending them back into the world, vulnerable and destined to repeat the same destructive behavior that had brought them to us in the first place. I hadn’t helped them. I had only made things worse for every last one of those precious young women.
My gut began to burn, and in that horrifying moment, it was as if the roof of my car were being unpeeled like the lid on a can of sardines. I sat there feeling helpless, guilty, and completely exposed.
Throughout my life, whenever I felt desperate, I would turn into a little girl again and go to God on my knees, even if only in my mind. The prayers I uttered in such times were not eloquent, nor were they in that moment. “Oh God,” I said aloud, “I’m so sorry.” That’s all I could muster.
To you, LORD, I cried out;
with the Lord I pleaded for mercy:
Excerpted from “Redeemed By Grace” by Ramona Trevino