No matter where I am, I sleep very little the night before a major decision comes down from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding one of our Alliance Defending Freedom cases.
Those nights, all my years of studying history come back to me. I feel like one of General Eisenhower’s soldiers, on the deck of a troop ship approaching Normandy, wondering what awaits us on the murky beach ahead.
Wherever I am, I’m up early—usually before 4 a.m.—in contact with our allies and attorneys and straining for every bit of news I can find on what’s happening, what the ruling says, what its implications are for other cases and clients. If I’m home, I’m usually sitting at a table in some quiet corner of the nearest Chick-fil-A, their first customer of the morning, clicking away on my phone or ipad. If I’m on the road, I’m probably juggling cell phone conversations with boarding announcements in a crowded airport waiting area.
I was in the Detroit airport in June when the joyful word came that our Allied Attorneys had won their case against those enforcing Gospel-free “buffer zones” around abortion centers. Christians were now free to share the truth of God’s love and the sanctity of life with those considering killing the baby in their womb.
A few days later, the night before the Conestoga / Hobby Lobby decision, I hardly slept at all … praying and praying, and absorbed with thoughts of the clients in those cases, our dear friends the Hahns and the Greens, and all that was at stake for them in this decision. I thought of the legal abuse they’ve had to endure for their kindness to their employees, and for their determination—in the face of enormous pressures—to preserve the lives of countless children from chemical execution.
Frankly, I get more emotional about these things now than I used to. I think so often of the Huguenins, the owners of a New Mexico photography business whose rights-of-conscience case was denied by the high court earlier this year. I ache at what it costs God’s children, sometimes, to stand for their Father. I don’t worry about a loss embarrassing our ministry, or doubt, even with a bad decision, that our Lord’s purpose will ultimately be accomplished. But realizing what losing may cost these who’ve trusted their cases to us drives me to my knees again and again, seeking God’s justice and mercy in their lives.
Sometimes, I pray quietly, in my heart. Sometimes, I find a solitude where I can let the emotions pour forth. And always, I take comfort in knowing that I am not praying alone.
John 15:5–Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.