Jason Wilson with Dave Franco
I ROLLED UP TO THE ADDRESS printed on my itinerary sheet, got out of my truck and walked to the building. Suddenly, I stopped. By the signage and writing on the glass doors, I realized I was about to walk into an abortion clinic. As a relatively new employee for a biomedical waste removal company, I hadn’t had an abortion clinic on my route before. Now I was forced to make a quick decision. I was a Christian and as pro-life as you can get. Was I really going to go in and remove their waste; barrels containing parts of children?
As I approached the door, a sign said the clinic was closed. A mix-up at our office must have occurred. I breathed a sigh of relief, got back in my truck and went on with my day, but knew I had a problem. As a youth director whose church could no longer pay me due to financial downturn, I maintained my pastoral role on a volunteer-basis by having a full-time job. But I had lost a good one ten months earlier. With mouths to feed at home, the job as a driver for a medical waste company seemed like an answer to my 10-month long prayer for work. Now I wasn’t so sure.
“You have to quit,” my wife, Rhoda, said without blinking an eye. It was exactly what I didn’t want to hear. Things aren’t so black and white, I told her. Why would God answer my prayer with a job that I couldn’t keep? No, there had to be a solution to this problem apart from simply cutting it off. Rhoda was, for the first time in our marriage, working full-time to compensate for my lack of productivity. She was now away from our kids all day long and I wasn’t comfortable with that—and her paycheck still didn’t cover our monthly bills. I had to have this job to keep food on the table and bring up my end of the marriage. Quitting and jumping back into unemployment seemed unthinkable.
“Is it possible it was just a one-time thing?” Rhoda asked.
“One of the other drivers I talked to about it said that removing those barrels is big business for the company,” I replied. “It’s going to show up on my schedule again for sure.”
“Then I’d just quit,” she said with an air of ‘What’s there to think about?’
It’s not that easy!
It was the beginning to a period of severe wrestling with God as I bent over backward trying to find a way to justify staying on the job. I thought about telling the company I would service all the accounts except abortion clinics. I thought about presenting the gospel to the women who worked at the clinics every time I went, or leaving tracts every visit. I considered having funerals and prayer in the back of my truck each time I loaded up the barrels. I sought counsel from people I admired, including my pastor, my mentor, valued friends, even a woman in our church who works with a post-abortion recovery ministry. I was hoping for unanimity. All of their answers were different.
“I think you should just quit,” Rhoda kept saying. “If you’re involved with the company, it’s tacit approval of their business practices. There’s no other way to slice it.”
I really wished she would stop saying that.
One night soon after, I found myself sitting in a movie theater at Rhoda’s invitation, watching the movie of a book she had devoured, Unplanned, the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager. I liked the movie and knew that I was watching something important, when suddenly my temperature spiked to about 120 degrees. I felt myself sliding down in my seat. Tears began to roll. A scene in the movie depicted a medical waste driver walking out to the truck with a big bio-med barrel on his dolly.
“That’s me,” I said under my breath. “That’s me with a barrel full of babies.”
The kids and Rhoda talked briskly about the movie as we left the theater that night, but not me—I was far, far away. “Where are you going?” my kids called to me as I wordlessly drove past our street and toward the nearest abortion clinic. I parked, got out and walked around the clinic, praying and looking at its back door with the bio-med icon on it; where the dismembered babies are removed.
“Lord, what do you want from me?” I cried out.
That night when I got home, I texted the number that graced the final frame of the movie; a phone number for those who may be dealing with being in the industry or with the aftermath of having an abortion.
When I received a phone call in reply from Nichola Morrison of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, I said to her, “I don’t know if you’re set up to help a guy like me, but….”
“You’ve called the right place,” she said. “Go ahead and quit your job. We’re going to find you a new one.”
I was moved by the offer, but even still, I felt paralyzed by the dilemma. I just couldn’t take the leap—even with Rhoda in one ear and Nichola in the other. The saddest part was there I was, a youth director who talked to kids about the faithfulness of God, yet in my own life, I was gripped with fear that God would not come through on his promises. Who was I really? What was at my core?
I stayed on the job, but only until God provided a miracle; little winks from heaven to let me know I was making the decision harder than it had to be. Two times over the next two weeks, abortion clinics appeared on my route—and both were marked “canceled.” God had me.
And so, I jumped.
After writing my resignation letter that stated I simply couldn’t be a part of a company that aligned itself with the abortion industry, I fell into the care of the good folks at AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, in particular, the faithful efforts of Nichola, who, after getting my resume professionally written (professional resume writer Jim Molinelli volunteers his skills to AND THEN THERE WERE NONE), inundated my inbox with more vetted job openings that I could get through in a day—it was nothing short of amazing. And by providing me 75% of my paycheck for the month, it allowed me to spend 8-10 hours every day looking for work. By the end of the month, I had secured a job…but it wouldn’t start for another three weeks.
“No problem,” Nichola said. “We’ll cover you for that, too.” But they weren’t finished pouring the love of God on me yet. They even facilitated the sending of Christmas gifts for my family.
Today, I not only have a job I can rest easy in, I have a new understanding of God’s provision and faithfulness that I clearly didn’t before. Now when I tell my students they can trust their finances and lives to God, I know exactly what I’m talking about. Had it not been for AND THEN THERE WERE NONE I’d still be rationalizing my life, unable to be true to things I tell kids about. I’d still be that guy.
How grateful I am.