From a Distance: Getting to the Heart of Abortion

It’s 6am and morning’s earliest light sneaks through the blinds. The warm, pink bundle stretches, then snuggles closer, deciding that cuddling in grandma’s arms is better than waking up. I look into her soft, innocent face and thank God for His goodness. New life—what a precious gift! I whisper songs of praise in her ear as I rock and sing in the waking dawn, recalling those same songs at a different time, in a much different place.

I had been to the abortion clinic many times before and had expected that particular day to be like any other. As usual, I was standing at the gate by the manicured hedge, quietly singing praise songs. Cradling the poster of a smiling baby, I prayed for each mother, family member and clinic employee who passed through the gates.

Within minutes, other Christians arrived to join our efforts and I stepped back from my post to make room for additional pray-ers. Without warning, I lost my balance and fell into the beautiful, manicured hedge. That’s when I realized the lovely hedge wasn’t what it appeared to be.

From a distance, this bush, with its lovely shape and vibrant color, was quite attractive. It added clean lines and symmetry to the entrance of the clinic, making it acceptable and inviting to the world. But in reality, the hedge, full of sharp, prickly thorns, harbored pain and suffering for all who ventured too close, and hid the devastating evil lurking behind its walls.

What a perfect picture of abortion. It’s the world’s answer to an inconvenience, the solution to a problem, the response to a biological detour. It fits neatly into the manicured picture of success and rids the body of the asymmetry of life. Yet inside there are thorns—thorns of depression, guilt, and emptiness. Just as no one sees the thorns of the manicured hedge from a distance, few see the hidden thorns of abortion until they experience it personally. I thanked God for this remarkably clear analogy and, while I left with a new awareness, the lesson was far from over.

A few months later I was back at the clinic, standing by the same hedge, holding the same poster and praying the same prayer. As I quietly whispered my songs of praise, I recalled the picture God had given me months before, then peered down into the same prickly bush.

I gasped.

From a distance, the green hedge was still beautiful, attractive, inviting. But as I looked down from overhead, only I could see the black, rotting fungus that was now eating away the innermost parts of the hedge, at its very core of life. Oh, how like abortion!

To mothers, friends, lovers, and families, the problem is gone. The shell is attractive, unaltered, uninterrupted. But while life still appears beautiful, attractive, and inviting, the fungus continues to attack the deepest crevices of the heart and mind, quietly devouring the spirit. I closed my eyes and cried silently, joining the chorus of silent cries from beyond the walls.

Dawn now seeps through the blinds. The warm, pink bundle gently stretches again, then snuggles closer, still content in grandma’s arms. I look into her soft, innocent face and thank God again for His goodness. New life—what a precious gift! The rocking chair continues its rhythmic movement as I whisper songs of praise in her ear.

(Image courtesy of


Vonda Skelton

Vonda is a speaker, writer, and motivational humorist who is thankful God can take her messes and use them for His glory. She's the author of four books, owner of The Christian Writer's Den blog, and founder of Christian Communicators, an organization to help educate, validate, and launch women in their speaking ministries. Vonda and her husband have been married all their lives--and they're still happy about it!

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook