Day 33: Stepping Into the Beatitudes
A few months back, friend and fellow 40 Days-er and Sidewalk Advocate for Life, Jeff F., said, “Coming down here to witness at Planned Parenthood is stepping into the Beatitudes.” Boom! What a DOOZY of an e-mail title for a 40 Days blog entry!! I knew I had to ask him if I could “steal” it. Thankfully, he happily consented – and sent me a reflection he had written on it himself!
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Here’s what Jeff wrote:
[40 Days for Life] offers peaceful, life-affirming support in both words and actions, and [its participants have seen] turn-aways over the months. If I may speak for the other [participants], the Beatitudes are integral to this experience since many times we have … [experienced] persecution from passersby, escorts, and women entering the clinic. In addition, every effort involves mourning in our hearts in the face of this senseless destruction of the unborn, and the wounding of the mother, father, family, and the heart of God. Meekness (humility and dependence on God) is the approach we have taken in the midst of this tragedy, as we rest in the arms of Christ. We display mercy to all including words of encouragement and assistance as we counsel women in crisis to choose life. Finally, our hunger and thirst for righteousness continues to drive many of us to the sidewalk throughout the year.
Well said, Jeff! Jeff wrote this piece to describe specifically his participation in Sidewalk Advocates for Life, but since the content applies to 40 Days for Life as well, I replaced some of his words with my own, i.e., the words in brackets. (The underlined words are his.) I would like to add the following thoughts. None of us go down to pray and witness at Planned Parenthood to BE blessed. We do it because we see it as necessary spiritual combat against the horrendously evil scourge of abortion on our city. We know and trust that we will be blessed in Heaven by God, as Jesus promises. But if there are any of you 40 Days participants out there reading this who have NOT experienced some unexpected blessing each and every time you pray on the sidewalk, let me know! God never holds back His blessings from us when we do His will, and 40 Days is no exception. He graciously allows us a little glimpse of His much bigger future blessings. Praise Him!!!
Jeff also wanted to share this link, a testimony by a woman named Meg Perez regarding her abortion and the forgiveness she later found in Jesus. http://www.cmfpitt.org/#!Abortion-A-Powerful-Testimony/c1qf5/56a2487d0cf2bfd5cced8dad.
Jen, our earlybird Sunday shift manager, shares:
But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!
These lines of Scripture, taken from the book of Wisdom to nourish us today, make us aware of how blessed we are to have such a merciful God; and how He is using us on the sidewalk as *gentle* reminders to one another of the grave offense of abortion while we still have time to repent.
I was further blessed this morning by the fellowship of the People of God Covenant Community, represented by Steve & Michelle and four of their sons, Ruth, and Pat. We were also joined by Vince and Bill for a powerful morning of prayer and praise. It was very uplifting, and I thank you all for sacrificing your time and comfort to be there on the sidewalk. God is at work among His people!
Jeff shared this photo of enthusiastic prayer warriors from his 5-7 shift:
More stories and photos will be added as they come in.
For the first half of this week at the vigil, we are in great need of prayer warriors for the following times:
Tuesday 11/1, 2:00 pm (Shift Manager Nancy does not have a partner)
Wednesday 11/2, 3:00-5:00 pm (Shift Manager Jeannie will be alone)
Wednesday 11/2, 5:00-7:00 pm (Shift Manager Joe K. will be alone)
Please help out our wonderful shift managers, sign up, and come down to keep them company!