One of my favorite books is “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Ms Lee is a tremendous story teller. She possesses that remarkable ability to paint a picture in your head of another place at another time from another person’s perspective. My all time favorite quote is in the very first chapter.
Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.” (11)
As the Founder and Executive Director of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home somehow I need to paint a picture for you from another person’s perspective. This person is not someone we are very familiar with in our community. It’s the perspective of a young teenage girl who through her own choices finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
As a volunteer crisis pregnancy counselor with a local Pregnancy Resource Center I’ve recently been introduced to a great number of these girls. Despite what you may think they are not from a certain demographic. Some may have an education, so may not. Some may be white, some may not. Some may be from well off families, some may not. Some may live with their parents, some may not. Some may be as young as 14.
A greater concern for me is more and more of these young woman have something in common. Not only are they young, pregnant, and unwed. But more and more don’t have a place to stay while they are pregnant. Maybe their pregnancy was the last straw with their parents and they were kicked out. Maybe because of growing economic concerns in our community one more mouth to feed just seemed impossible. Maybe everyone around them is pushing for them to get an abortion but they really need a safe place for the duration of their pregnancy. They’re young and in trouble and seem so vulnerable to me.
I have to admit I was more than discouraged as I called area churches and agencies to find out what services were available. Most people agreed it was a growing issue in our area. Most people agreed we had limited services on our side of the river.. But no one really knew what to do.
So after many, many phone calls, conversations, meetings, hours of prayer, researching our area I decided to open up The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home for girls ages 14-18. I’ve realized very early on why few people have looked into this. It’s messy dealing with people. It’s complicated dealing with minors. It’s actually really difficult to accomplish the right, and moral, and ethical thing to help other people.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
Now that I’ve painted this picture it may seem the problem is insurmountable. It may seem the problem will never be solved. And you’re right. But Life is full of problems and we have to do something to try and solve it. This is where the story makes an exciting turn.
I believe with all my heart that The Sparrow’s Nest will make an extraordinary difference on our community. We have been blessed with a unique opportunity to positively impact the lives of young women and in so doing impact the lives of families in our community for generations. We have a chance for people of faith to be led by the Spirit and to unite in prayer and action. Through the power of Jesus Christ a new and powerful story can be written on the hearts of these young women.
There are lots of places for you to be written into our story. Whatever gifts and talents you possess I’m positive God can use you. We would love for you to become part of the story of The Sparrow’s Nest.