Today was not a nice day to stand outside and pray in front of an abortion clinic. The rain never stopped, and it was bone-chillingly cold! So…where was I at 7am this morning? Actually, I was snug in my warm bed. I can’t say the same for our Shift Manager, Jen McDevitt. At 7am, she was standing for life outside of Planned Parenthood…and there she stood until 11am. She was joined by 12 other brave souls from Church of the Assumption.
Where was I at 11am? I was at my church service, enjoying worshipping the Lord with my church family. During this same time, from 11am-3pm, Shift Manager Nikki Wallace was standing in the rain, shivering….to be a voice for the “least of these”. For most of her shift, she was joined by two determined and faithful witnesses from Lutheran’s for Life, Cindy Fenger and Angela, as well as another dedicated volunteer named Elena. For the remainder of her shift, it was just her and the Lord keeping vigil.
Where was I at 3pm? In my warm, cozy home, resting up for a cold and rainy shift at Planned Parenthood early tomorrow morning…(which I will have the honor to share with my own church family from Riverside Community Church). While I was comfortable and warm in my home, Shift Managers Jim and Cathy Shantz were standing outside in the cold rain in front of a closed abortion clinic, on a lonely city sidewalk, witnessing for un-born life to whoever passed by. Hopefully they were joined by three other individuals…Judy, John and Mary Ellen…who had signed up to join them.
I have to admit that I felt guilty for not going to the vigil today…and all three shift managers were in my thoughts and prayers all day today. At one point in my prayers, I actually wept with gratitude that God has blessed me with knowing such good people as our Shift Managers. The theme for this message today is not to make anyone feel guilty for being warm and comfortable while others stood in the freezing rain. I’m sure that we will have our turns to stand in the freezing rain to be a voice for the voiceless. The point is this; Today Jen, Nikki, Jim and Cathy, Cindy, Elena, John and Mary Ellen…and a few others…took our place. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. This is why I call us our “40 Days for Life family”. Because we all take turns doing the work. The battle to end abortion is too big for just a few people to fight. We all have to fight it in turn. When we are tired and need to rest and refresh, new troops will go into the battle and fight. When they get weary…we will step back in. We are family, and I love all of my fellow warriors.
Your grateful sister in Christ,