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The Appointment

by Denny Hartford

Anna:  [Yawns & stretches wide.  She’s awakened.]  Oh my, 5:30 already.  It feels like I just went to sleep.  [Pause]  That pillow sure looks good.  I wonder; couldn't they get along without me this morning?  No, that’s not the attitude.  Sorry, Lord; give me strength...and give me a quick cup of coffee!

Brynne:  [Exasperated.  Tired.]  5:30!  My God, I thought this night was never going to end!  I only dropped off that once and with that dream I had I wished I’d never...well, that’s that.  At least I can get started and get this hellish thing over.

Anna:  [Praying.]  Lord, thank you for getting me up on time and giving me the motivation to serve You this morning.  You know my heart, Jesus; it’s always hard to go there but I know the stakes involved and thanks to You, I really do know it’s an honor and a joy to stand up for Your Name’s sake.  So, thanks for the warm shower and this bagel and coffee.  Now grant me Your peace, Your supernatural strength, and Your love as I engage in this ministry this morning.  [Raises her head and sees the clock.]  Oh, it’s almost six.  Sally will beat me out there if I don’t get a move on.

Brynne:  [Looking at the clock.]  Oh God, why doesn’t he call?  I know he can’t go with me; he promised Joey some help with his car or something but this just isn’t fair!  Not even close!  He’s the reason I’m in this mess and he’s acting like it’s my fault.  Why does Joey rate so much higher than me, especially under these circumstances?  What kind of love do we have anyhow?  A lousy car compared to my having to go through an abortion!  [She shakes her head and softly cries.]  [Then, almost in a whisper.]  At least, he could call.  He promised me he’d at least call.

Anna:  [Driving.]  It’s a gorgeous day, beautiful high clouds in this blue sky but, Jesus, for the people who have appointments with the abortionist this morning, it’s a terrible day of decision with life and death in the balance.  And Lord, I know You're busy even now convicting them of the horror of abortion, directing Your revelation into their conscience so that they would repent and turn back home even before they get to the abortion mill.  Oh God, I add my prayers to Sally’s and all the others who have persevered so long in their intercession for the killing to stop.  Please make the arms weak of those clients who are blindly suppressing Your truth.  Please break through to their hearts this morning so that lives would be spared from the barbaric violence of the abortionists.

Brynne:  [Driving.]  Well, here I am just as I figured I’d be - alone!  The lousy rat couldn’t even get out of bed to call me and give me a little support!  And now I’ll be out of "sexual commission" for a few days and I can just guess what that’ll mean: his little Barbie-doll from work!  She’s been after him like a minx anyhow.  Oh, brother, who am I kidding?  There’s little doubt she’s already had him!  And here I am, his steady, his love for over 5 months, his housecleaner and cook...and, let’s face it, his every-other-night toy and he leaves me in the lurch for Joey's old car!  Okay, pal; you want it that way?  You got it!  Alone?  Right - that’s just how it’ll be from now on.  Look out for yourself, Brynne; forget the creep and get on with your life.  You don’t want anything to do with the cheap coward - not even his...  [She gulps and steels herself to say it aloud.]  especially not his baby!

Anna:  [Still driving.]  This is where it starts to get really heavy, Lord.  As soon as I get off the interstate here and drive onto Lake Street, my heart fills with sadness and, as you know, Lord, other things too: frustration, fear, anger at the killing business and all their supporters and, yes, even anger at the Christians who say they’re pro-life but do absolutely nothing to stand up in Christ’s Name against it.  Well, Father; this is where I call on You to meet my needs.  Let me stand humbly and bravely for the "least of these" this morning as Sally and I sidewalk counsel.  And, dear God, don’t let up.  Please keep pressing hard on the hearts of the men and women coming to have abortions today.  Please.

Byrnne:  [Still driving.]  Alone!  God, it’s scary to really be alone.  Scary and boring and lonely.  [Pause.]  And so terribly sad.  But that, of course, is so much of my trouble.  I can never stand to be alone so I latch onto any bozo that smiles at me.  They toss me crumbs of their time and I flop over and give ‘em anything they want!  What a loser I am!  I can’t do anything right.  School?  Yeah, right!  Family?  Oh sure, that’s pretty too.  A mother that gives her real estate clients more attention than her kids and a brother who can’t get through the day without a snort.  I hated Dad for ditching us when we were still around home, but he probably had more sense than any of the rest of us.  Even I can understand that message - if you don’t have love, you can’t give love.  So I’m sorry, Roscoe. [She looks down at her stomach.]  But what’s going to happen this morning is really gonna’ be the best thing possible.  [Pause.] Yeah, I know you’d probably argue the point if you could but I'm afraid that’s the way it’s gotta’ be.  Sorry.

Anna:  Good morning, Sally.  And who’s that you’ve got with you?  That couldn’t be Mark, could it?  Wow!  The training table down there at the university must be something else...Oh no; he’s fine.  He’ll be out here on Saturday morning but he’s planning on coming over for your little soiree afterwards.... Oh well, thanks, Mark.  It sure is easier though to have someone so sharp and kind-hearted as your mom to stand here and pray with.  And we sure do appreciate your being here!  It really makes a difference when even one more Christian lines up on the side of life - a great difference to the others here and to God...You’re right, Sally, to those on the other side too!  Mark, will you start us off in prayer this morning?

Brynne:  [Still driving but slowly now.  She's looking around at addresses.]  It’s gotta’ be somewhere around here.  648...660...670...it should be just down the block.  Hey, what’s this?  What are those guys...Uh oh!  The clinic people warned me about this.  The girl said there might be some religious fanatics that would try to talk me out of this – my own decision by the way.  This must be them.  I wonder what they’ll do to me.  [Eases her car over to the curb.]  Well, Roscoe, it looks like you’ve got a few others here to argue your case.  That’s more than I’ve got anyhow.  And, you know, I’m not so sure their hearts aren’t in the right place, but, of course, they can’t understand my situation.  I mean, this isn't their business...it's mine!  [Pause.  Then sadly.]  All mine.  I think I’ll just park here for a few minutes and see what I’m up against.  There goes another car into the parking lot now.  Let’s roll down the window and check this out.

Anna:  Should I take this one, Sally?  Okay.  [Waits until a couple gets out of the car.]  Good morning, folks.  We’re here this morning to give you information about abortion that they certainly won’t tell you inside this place.  They are in the abortion business; that’s what they do - sell abortions.  So theyre not going to tell you the whole story.  Really, folks; just give us a minute, please.  These people won’t tell you about the dangers to your own health; they won’t tell you the truth about the development of your baby.  Mom, please reconsider before it’s too late forever.  Your child’s heart is beating even as I speak; she has little arms and legs; little fingers and toes.  Mommy, please let your baby live to hug you and play ball and go to her first prom.  Mom, please!  Jesus loves you and He loves your baby.  And so do we.  We can take you right now to a doctor who protects life and together we can meet any need you might have.  Oh Mom!  Dad!   Please reconsider this very wrong decision.

Brynne:  [Intently listening.]  Wow!  That sure wasn’t what I expected.  They weren’t calling anybody names; they weren’t threatening anybody.  And look at them.  Two older ladies and one gorgeous hunk of a guy.  Man, why can’t I ever tie into something like that?  And look at him; he’s praying right out there on the sidewalk!  That’s pretty gutsy.  I bet he wouldn’t let me go to an abortion appointment alone.  Oh brother, what am I saying?  He’s a pro-life guy!  He wouldn’t let me get here period.  And just what is he holding anyhow?  I think it's a picture of ...Why it’s a photo of a baby in the belly.  Roscoe!  That’s you!  Eight weeks it says.  You’re a little bigger than that even.  [Pause.]  And, you know, I have to admit you’re kinda’ cute.

Anna:  Lord, our appeal has to stop here at the sidewalk but not Yours.  So please come on strong and persuade those who are inside this building about just how wrong an act this is.  Convince them of Your love and Your power to get them through whatever problem they’re facing.  And Lord Jesus for those who have appointments this morning but still haven’t arrived yet, we ask You to act as the Advocate for the little baby who is now under threat of destruction.  Let them know the fear of God that will drown out all other fears and move them to choose life.

Brynne:  How about that, Roscoe; I’m here - alive and kickin' and yet I’m all alone.  But you...well, you seem to have some pals even though...Well, I guess you’re here and alive too, aren’t you, little guy?  Hmm.  That one lady is holding a banner.  I know you can’t read so here’s what it says, "God Loves You and Your Baby."  What do you think?  Could that be true?  You know, there’s a young girl down in 14B who’s a Christian and she invited me over last Christmas.  She told me about God and His Son Jesus.  You know, Roscoe, do you think she could be right?  Like this lady’s flag, do you think there’s really a God and that He loves you...and that He loves me?  Wow.  That would be somethin’ wouldn’t it?  A pure love; a love that doesn’t use you and toss you aside?  Well, whatever...Somebody sure put those people here for you this morning, Roscoe.  What’s that you say, sport?  He put them there for me too?  Hmm.  You may be right.

[Long pause before Anna speaks again.]

Anna:   Well, good night Lord.  It’s sure been quite a day.  Thanks for the phone call tonight from Sherry.  It was great to hear her so happy and fulfilled there.  Please watch over her and keep her in the center of Your will.  Minister peace tonight to Dorothy and to the Robinsons.  Please deliver Greg’s son from his temptations and help all of us who are taking the nursing home folks to the zoo tomorrow.  Don’t let anyone get eaten or anything!  And Lord, I want to again place before You all of the people who went into the abortion clinic this morning.  I pray that You would lead them to repentance and faith in Your Son.  God, it’s so hard to go to that sad place and not see any effect of our presence, our counsel, our prayers -- but help me to leave all that to You.  I know You're pleased at my answering the call and I suspect there may be some good that’s done by our prayerful presence there at the very doors of death that we’ll probably never know.  So thank You for giving me the faith to stay at it.  And Jesus, please, please give us more help out there.  I love You, God.  Good night.

Brynne:   Well, good night Lord.  It’s sure been quite a day.  I started it in a panic and now I end it in peace.  Oh yeah, I’m still nervous about a bunch of things and I’m awfully green about this religion stuff but I can’t tell You just how happy I am to be getting started.  Glenda is such a sweet person.  I knew she was kinda’ different - in a real nice way, of course - when she invited me down for that cup of tea last Christmas but how could I imagine just how wonderful she was!  Listening to my whole story, crying when I was telling her about my dad pushing me away from the car when he drove out the yard that day, and then even driving me over to that pregnancy center.  Lord, You’ve got some pretty cool folks down here and I want to ask You to change me so that someday I can be at least a little like them.  Wow!  That story of Jesus dying for my sins - every last one of them - that’s so incredible and neat.  Help me to understand more of that please.  And please help me repay Glenda and those women at the CPC with my following through with this thing.  [Long pause]  Oh yes, God; I also want to thank You for Roscoe’s friends down there at that abortion clinic.  I guess they were there for me too, huh?  What a miracle that was.  Jesus, could you somehow let them know just how important they are and how precious is the thing they’re doing?  Maybe someday I can tell them myself.  I’d sure like that, especially that handsome giant that was praying there.  [Pause.]  God, is that a bad thing to ask for?  Someone like that to someday love me?  Oh well, You’re big enough to take care of that situation too, I guess.  Most important, I know now that, unlike this morning, I’ll never be alone again.  [Smiles broadly.]  Thanks so much.  I love You, God.  Good night.  [Long pause before Brynne looks down at her stomach]  And good night to you too, Roscoe, you little lug!  See you tomorrow.

To listen to an audio version of The Appointment, click here.