It was only a few days before Christmas, and I was standing on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, handing out literature and trying to talk to the women going in. Most of the people were taking the flyers like a baton in a relay race, barely slowing down to say “Thank you” as they rushed to the front door.

Finally, a young black couple stopped and listened. They looked to be in their early 20s. He was in the military. She was early in her pregnancy, but did not know how far along she was. She had no other children. I told her that if she was lucky enough to have another child in the future, she would always wonder about this first child she could have had.

I told them that this baby was a unique person who could never be replaced and that this might be the only child they would ever have. I told them that having an abortion would ruin their relationship, and they would always regret it. The most important thing in life is family, and that while money and jobs will come and go, this child will always be there for them, if they let it live. I told her the most important gift she could ever give anyone is their life.

They did not say much, but listened for at least 20 or 30 minutes. I told her that having an abortion, particularly now, would ruin every Christmas for her for the rest of her life. I told them that all good things in life require work, and they will never feel like they are financially ready to have a baby, but God will help them and bless them for giving this baby its life.

Finally, I told them that a long time ago a woman named Mary chose life, and that is why Jesus was born on Christmas. I told them they should go home, hug each other, and talk about it. Planned Parenthood will be there tomorrow, but if they go inside, their baby won’t be.

The man nodded and looked over at her, but instead of leaving, they walked toward the front door of the abortion center. They stood outside the front door for several minutes, and with her back to me, I could see her wiping the tears from her eyes. Then she put her hand on the front door, and my heart sank as she opened it and walked in.

The man walked in my direction, and I fully expected him to look away and avoid eye contact, as men usually do when deciding to go through with the abortion. Instead, he walked up to me and thanked me for talking to them.  I told him it was not too late to go in there and bring her out. He said, “Oh, she’s coming out. She just went in there to cancel her appointment. It’s 90 percent we’re going to keep this baby.” He looked at me and said, “You know, I firmly believe that people are put in front of you for a reason. And maybe that’s why you are here now.”

She came back out a couple of minutes later, and I told them that God would bless them, I would be praying for them, and that this would be their happiest Christmas ever. The joy I felt when they left is the best Christmas present I could ever get.

Please remember them in your prayers.

The above came in a Dec. 22 email from the sidewalk counselors of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants San Diego.