|The Visitation (by the Master of The Visitation; photo in public domain).|
I went to clothe the naked, but ended up counseling the doubtful. Stripping away layers of pain and doubt didn’t really have much in common with providing clothing, other than the dignity given from putting one on and taking the other off.
I was at the Women’s Help Center to pass out baby clothes and diapers to mothers in need. It wasn’t much different than the last time I volunteered — women tell us what size clothes they want for their infants and we put together a bag of outfits, diapers, and wipes that will hopefully sustain them until their situation improves.
One woman, whom I will call Mary, came in looking for more than baby clothes– she needed a pregnancy test. I tried to act as nonchalant as I could, but inside I was freaking out. Pregnancy tests to me are synonymous with freaking out. If you are pregnant, you freak. If you are not, you freak. You may be happy or sad depending on the results — but either way, it’s a big deal. After all, the potential for new life exists, and even when unplanned, it’s ever precious.
She returned from the bathroom with her cup of urine (you ladies know the drill), and I inserted the pregnancy stick inside trying not to obsess on freaking out. It was a little awkward sitting across from someone whom I just met, with a cup of urine on the side table like we were just two girlfriends at Starbucks for an afternoon latte.
She said she was a little nervous. Feigning calmness, I asked why, and listened as she told me how she couldn’t afford to have a baby right now. Clearly she hoped she wasn’t pregnant. As I listened, I watched the pink line on her test magically appear affirmative, striking through her concerns as unapologetically as a teacher crosses out grammar infractions with red ink.
Finish reading this story at Lara's blog Mercy Me!I've Got Work to do.