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John H Bidwell

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Member Since: Mar, 2003

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By John H Bidwell
Friday, April 04, 2003

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An honest look at a hard subject.


A torrent of pictures nearly overloads her brain as memories pound relentlessly against her weakening heart, and she’s so tired. If only she could go one day, or one night without reliving the entire horror. It’s been ten weeks.
It happened on a Wednesday. It seemed like such a nice day. Work was a bit hectic working at the corner cafe, but she made a fair amount in tips that day. Back home she got dinner ready for her brothers and sisters and Mom. She helped clean up afterwards and headed for school.
She had dreams of getting a better job with enough pay to let her get some control of her life, to move out and still support the family. She so much wanted to get somewhere, to feel good about herself.
After classes she began her walk home, it was just four blocks. Why couldn’t she just walk four blocks?
Out of the shadows she heard his voice, it was so deep, he was so big. “Hey lady.” She keeps hearing it, “Hey lady,” “Hey lady.” Before she could turn around her neck was crushed in his vice like grip and his huge fist bashed the side of her head.
Dazed, she was thrown into his car. Once she tried to scream but he took her by the back of the neck with that grip and bashed her face into the dashboard. That must have been when she lost her three lower teeth. She just lay against the car door and cried – this couldn’t be happening, it couldn’t be.
He drove down some back ally and pulled her from the car holding her wrist too tightly, she is still bruised there.
She heard the low voice again; “You remember what happens when you try to scream.”
He picked her up like a rag doll and dropped her on the hood of his car, then started prowling her body with his hands and fingers. She felt like she was dead and being eaten by worms.
She cried out and he grabbed her hair, pulled her head up, and slammed it down into the car. She was hardly conscious after that, but he raped her over and over again.
Someone found her by a dumpster and she was taken to the hospital.

She woke up the next night stinging all over, her mouth swollen, and she was so sick. She could still smell the man and the liquor on his breath, and as soon as she found the strength she began to cry.
Her mother came to see her the next afternoon. Her mother could not accept the fact that she had been raped.
“How could they take away my baby’s virginity?” she kept saying. That’s what she cared about? Did her mother think less of her because of this?
“It wasn’t my fault,” she told her mother, and everyone else. She seemed to have to keep on saying that, and somehow it seemed like people would not believe her.
After a couple of days she went home, and soon started work and school again. “I can’t let my dreams die because of this,” she told a friend, but the eighth week after it happened she found out she was pregnant. Somehow the nightmare was alive inside her, not letting her go, not letting her forget. Now it could take everything away from her, everything. It could kill her dreams. She kept dreaming of being dead, and the worms.
The turmoil of her emotions eventually focused into rage. The rage a child has against the unfairness of evil.
No one had the right to ruin her life, or it wasn’t her life.

She made an appointment to go to the clinic and get an abortion. No one knew what was going on, people were afraid to talk to her.
She got to the clinic but she had to cross a picket line. What was going on? She got confused, scared. A man touched her shoulder and it scared her half to death.
The man spoke to her. “You feel guilty don’t you? You know you shouldn’t go in there, you can’t murder your baby. The bible calls it murder.”
“What kind of woman are you?” Others started picking on her. “What kind of woman could murder her baby? That’s God’s child you are carrying.”
She couldn’t have heard right could she? “They’re accusing me?” she thought. “You don’t understand,” she said. “It’s not my fault.” Why did she have to defend herself? Why were they picking on her?
“We do understand,” the people kept after her. “You are a sinner, you are guilty in God’s eyes.”
She started crying, “I’m not guilty, it wasn’t my fault.” She was by now programmed to say that. Why should she ever have to say that?
She was sobbing now, stumbling toward the clinic, praying that someone could help her, that someone would understand it wasn’t her fault. Were those people right? Was she guilty? Was she just a no good sinner? A murderer? How could she know?
She sobbed and fell into a man’s arms. This man was different, she felt something. Where did he come from? He seemed to just appear out of nowhere. He helped her up and she looked in his eyes. For the first time in so long she felt hope. This man actually saw her for who she was, and that had such power she could feel it. She knew Him. It was Christ.
She was able to breathe again and she hid herself in His arms knowing who He was. He held her tight and looked out at the crowd, the accusers. They didn’t recognize Him, they couldn’t have in a million years, but He recognized them. He had seen them before. Long ago in a Temple on the Sabbath day a man came to Him with a withered hand asking for His help, His healing, and this crowd couldn’t accept that. Christ looked out at the crowd now as He did then, grieved at the hardness of their hearts, but how could He reach them?
The crowd had long ago made up its mind as to what the rules were and how God is allowed to act. Always the letter of the law, never the beating, feeling heart.
The girl again looked to Christ. “Am I guilty? Am I wrong to be here, to do this?” Her face grew tense with desperation.
The love, the understanding, the calmness flowed from Him as he spoke.
“Daughter, do you think it God’s will that that man did this to you? Is it God’s will that you carry that man’s child? Is it God’s will that you bear that man a son or daughter? Is it God’s will that you were raped?”
“No” she said, and at last she knew. The nightmare was over.
She entered the clinic and entered into another world. There was no pretense, no facades. The first thing she saw was a poster about incest. Some of these women here – no, some of these girls – thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old, were pregnant by their own brothers and fathers. As she looked at those girls with tears in their eyes, so young, so vulnerable, she cried again and prayed, “Dear God, how can the world be this way?” Imagine having your own father sexually abuse you.
There were other women equally victimized. Wounded women desperate for love betrayed by their boyfriend’s broken promises. These women needed love, understanding, help, compassion, and not babies.
She thought about the people out on the picket line. They don’t say much about incest. They don’t say much about contraception. They don’t seem to say much about people needing to love and respect and forgive and care for one another. They don’t say much about the men (or boys) who got these girls pregnant. If they do talk about these things they sure never talked to her about them.
Abortion seems to be all the picket people talk about. If only these women in here could have been brought up in loving Christian homes, not where Christ is talked about or worshipped, but rather where He is followed. If only the people on the picket line could imagine what these women have been through being brought up unloved, ignored, or abused. What the women in the clinic were guilty of was needing love too badly and giving too much for it.

Christ looked out at the crowd of people. “Who are you?” they asked, - Those who claimed to devote their entire lives to Him but couldn’t even recognize Him.
The Holy Spirit flowed through Him as He spoke.
“Hypocrites, all of you! Who gave you the right to make your point of view God’s law?
The only sin here is against these women. Where is your compassion for those who have been abused by men who forsake God? You make God into a rapist and put yourselves in charge of His victim’s bodies. You would gladly go to war and kill thousands and thousands of innocent men women and children merely to preserve your freedom and your way of life, but you cannot feel the need for that freedom in the hearts of your own children. How long before you understand the truth?”
A fat old woman with her nostrils flared snapped at Christ, “But what about those innocent babies?”
He told them, but they could not hear the truth. “The innocent babies in God’s eyes are those whom you insist must have babies of their own. They are children themselves, not ready to raise a family. When it is God’s will they will bring wanted children into this world who they are prepared to care for.”
“The bible says it’s murder,” a man called out. The crowd agreed.
The people, though they called themselves Christians, would not want Christ to return undisguised, for then they would have to reckon with His concrete reality. They would no longer be able to make Him what they imagined Him to be, in the hardness of their hearts what they wanted Him to be. They had made up their minds. They had the answers. There was nothing anyone, even Christ could do.
Christ gazed at them one last time. How could these people be so sure of themselves? Even those who had loved Christ most dearly considered the possibility that that they might have betrayed Him. When Christ told His disciples that one of them would betray Him all of them asked, “Is it I?” Yet these people with their picket signs took it upon themselves to define life, to define sin, and to define God’s will.
“You,” Christ spoke softly yet everyone could hear Him, “are to love and care for one another, God alone is to judge.”

This time Christ did not appear as Jesus, but as one of the least of these. Perhaps that is why they could not recognize Him. They had already made up their minds what they were looking for, and for that very reason would never find it.

John H. Bidwell

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Reviewed by The Poetess 1/18/2011
This gripped me and held me until, in the end I let out the breath I didn't know I'd been holding onto. The depth of empathy and insight here is surely from a deep connection with Light/Love.
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 12/17/2010
Johnny, this is beautifully written.
Reviewed by Joel Kirkpatrick 12/22/2009
wow... if we could only use the other 90% of our brain, what might we see... what might we know...?
Reviewed by Debbie Walker 10/31/2009
John, that was amazing. When I first started to read, I thought oh no, not another attack. You made it into something amazing. I have always had a hard time with religion and as I get older I've learned that I am comfortable with my beliefs, not necessarily someone else interpretation of God's way. I really enjoyed it.
Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone 10/24/2009
Amen, LadyJ
Reviewed by C. Nichols 7/15/2006
Great message- I haven't ever seen a Christian arguement that is prochoice. Last time I checked, abortion was NOT addressed in the bible specifically, and like so many issues is all about interpretation. It was refreshing to see a different interpretation.
Reviewed by Larry Matthews 12/13/2005
Ah yes John , God as they concieve Him to be but not my God .Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do.Great message to all. Luke
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 3/14/2005
John, 'Judge not, lest ye be judged' I do my best to live by those words. This world would be a much better place if all would try it. Only God and myself, has to be aware of what I hold within..and even then my own opinions are not His.
A very powerful message you've penned here John. Thank you for sharing it.

Reviewed by m j hollingshead 2/9/2005
powerful message
Reviewed by Susan Sparks 10/12/2003
John: Obviously you being in the healthcare profession has given you great compassion. This has been a wonderful thing for me to read on a Sunday morning when I probably should be at church. This has given me some new insights into abortion; this is what true Christianity is all about.
Reviewed by Jackie Brooks 8/7/2003
A question we should all ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do in this situation" Certainly something to make all of us think twiceabout making judgements. Jackie <> <
Reviewed by Linda Hill 5/15/2003
Excellent insight into God's
point of view on this delicate
topic. This write speaks volumes.
I will read it again..

Reviewed by Dee C. 4/4/2003
Wow...a very difficult subject you tackled here and a very good job you have done with it. You've brought about a different view point and taken the opinions and objects of the two sides into a new light.
What an excellent write....bravo!!!


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