Her name was Jennifer, and she looked like Veronica Lake the Hollywood movie star from the 1940s and 50s with the same swept over hair style and “little girl lost” beauty that made men around her want to do anything to please her. She always spoke with a sweet, soft, slight Southern drawl. I know that if I was a man on a jury before which she was trying a case, I’d vote however she asked me to without hearing any evidence at all.
Jennifer was my colleague in the office in which we both were prosecuting attorneys. She came to see me once soon after I gave my message at our little Baptist church.
“Mac,” she said, “you are low church Baptist, but my husband and I, when we go to church, prefer the high church liturgy and sacraments of the Episcopalians.”
“OK,” I said having never heard the terms “high church” and “low church” before and sensing that I was being somewhat insulted but taking no offense nonetheless.
“But you are an intelligent man, Mac . . . so why DO you go to a Baptist church?” Jennifer asked.
I had a notion that this wasn’t the real question on Jennifer’s mind, but simply her way of getting to the questions that brought her to my office for the only time she ever had or would visit me there.
“Well, Jennifer, I was actually raised in the Roman Catholic Church with similar liturgies and sacraments that the Episcopalians use in their services, and I was a devout little Catholic boy, but I fell away from my faith in my teens under the influences of sex, drugs, and rock music. However, when I was twenty I came to believe that Jesus Christ is who the Bible says He is, and I started following Him and His Teachings . . . not very well . . . but constantly trying . . . and not in order to be “saved,” as they say, but out of the gratitude that I have for Him for already saving me by the faith that He gave me in the first place . . . if that makes any sense.”
I could see a frown forming on Jennifer’s pretty face.
“I tried going back to the Catholic church,” I continued, “but I didn’t feel like I was getting the pure, plain Gospel there that I needed amidst all the beautiful liturgy and sacraments, and so I asked God to lead me to a church where He wanted me to settle in so that I could grow in my new faith, and I think He led me to a Baptist church, where also I met Maria, and we were married, and we started our family. Does that answer your question?”
Jennifer was still frowning.
“Mac, I heard that you preached a sermon at your Baptist church about pornography,” Jennifer said.
“That’s right. I did.” I answered.
“Do you really think that it’s ALWAYS wrong?” Jennifer asked me. “What if a married couple view it together?”
Jennifer’s husband was a fighter pilot in the Marines. I began to think that this was why she came to see me.
“I don’t know, Jennifer,” I said. “I know that the popular thing to say would be, ‘That’s nobody’s business’ and ‘Whatever two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home and blah, blah, blah,’ but I only know that whenever I have viewed pornography, I wasn’t thinking about God. And I wasn’t thinking about Maria. And I know that Maria loves me, but I also knows that it hurts her that I would look at another woman when SHE is my vision of beauty in this world. So I guess that I’d have to say that I think that it’s not a good idea for something to do in a marriage . . . or outside a marriage . . . or anywhere . . . I guess.”
“Mac, what do you think about abortion?” she next asked.
Whoa! I never saw that coming. I hesitated as I looked at her with her head held down, no longer looking at me.
“I think it’s wrong, Jennifer,” I said.
It was very quiet in my office.
“And I know that it’s also an extremely private matter. In fact, it does not get more private than a child in the womb of a mother. But I think that the most succinct statement of my thoughts on the subject was what I once read on a bumper sticker that for all the debate over abortion I think that all sides must surely agree with this, “Abortion stills a human heart.”
Jennifer sat in my office about a minute more with her head still lowered in thought . . . or maybe in prayer. Then she lifted her head and looked at me with a slightly noticeable mist in her eyes.
“Thank you, Mac.” she said.
And she got up and left my office and never came back.
[DISCLAIMER: THIS STORY IS MADE UP. NOBODY DEPICTED HEREIN IS REAL.]
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