The Scripture passage from Genesis 17:1-9 tells of the many promises that the Lord God makes to Abraham, including the many blessings He will give him and his descendants. But God gives one stipulation, and it’s a pretty big one:
God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”
A covenant is no ordinary contract or agreement. It is an exchange of persons. You give yourself to me, and I give myself to you. Incredibly, this is what Our God does all throughout Scripture at precise junctures (and with specific people) chosen by Him.
We, as members of the Church, must continue to keep God’s covenant. We must continue to be His people, and have God be our God.
But what about abortion? Aren’t there Christians- people in the Church- who believe and teach that abortion is justifiable? Yes. And why? Which part of God’s covenant is this keeping? Well, it’s not.
Let all of us in the Church- in all of our denominations- seek to keep God’s covenant with sincere hearts- to be FULLY His people.
As a side note, those preborn persons are ALSO called to a covenantal relationship with God. They, too, are God’s people- as we ALL once were, when we were in utero.
Shift Manager Reports
I was blessed to share the sidewalk with two angels this morning! Beth and Tracy from Saint Peter in Steubenville were there when I arrived at 7 and were staying until 11. Look at the picture of them in their rain ponchos- don’t they look like angel robes? These two dedicated souls took two days during these 40 days and drove all the way from Steubenville to witness and pray for four hours! They each stood on opposite sides of the circle and prayed silently. They have a very powerful, prayerful presence about them. We didn’t use the signs because it was raining so hard and I wondered if people would really know why we were there. It was clear that everyone who passed by understood the meaning of our presence there on the sidewalk. As one abortion worker entered the clinic, she turned and said to us angrily, “Why don’t you help that poor girl laying in the doorway instead of standing here?” There was a young couple, a man and a woman, who were sleeping in the doorway to the theater. We were aware of their presence, and in fact Beth had already given the man the resource card with all of the shelter information on it, and she was even planning on taking them across the street to get them breakfast after they woke up. The question that was in my mind, but that I did not ask the worker was, “Why don’t YOU help that poor girl? After all, you are a medical clinic which exists for the sole purpose of helping women, right?”
So it was clear that even though we didn’t have signs, our silent prayers were louder and more obtrusive to the abortion workers than if we had huge signs and had been shouting! Actually, I had the thought occur to me as I was driving into Pittsburgh this morning that, even though we didn’t see any results during these 40 days (yet), our persistence and our daily prayers are like chipping away at a concrete wall. I even thought of the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Remember how the prisoner would chip away at the wall of his cell every day? He had the hole covered with a large poster, and every day he would take a handful of concrete that he had chipped away, and put it in his pocket, which he would discard during his daily time out in the yard. I think that is what our prayers are doing at Planned Parenthood. Even though the progress is slow and gradual, and sometimes we can’t see the difference that we are making, every prayer we pray at that clinic, is like scraping away a handful of concrete from the foundation on which Planned Parenthood rests. One of these days, the final prayer will be prayed, and that will be the one to cause the entire organization to topple. God is good in allowing us to participate with him in his work of salvation in our world! Thank you everyone for persevering in prayer for an end to abortion! God bless you!
During the 9-11 shift, a young couple went into the abortion mill on Liberty Avenue without speaking to us. After some time, the two of them came out again and beckoned to us, saying they wanted to ask us some questions. Dave and Amy (sorry, not their real names) have been living together for three years in a committed relationship, using contraception in an attempt to prevent conception. In January they discovered that they are pregnant. Their questions were mostly moral and theological; they were both Roman Catholics, at least in family background. Dave did most of the talking. He expressed a clear understanding and abhorrence of abortion and of the abortion industry, horror at the fact that Planned Parenthood kills babies and throws them in the trash, but was clearly deeply frightened by the thought of fatherhood. His own father, he told the counselors, had been both sexually abusive and an alcoholic; he himself had never had the slightest desire to be a father. The couple had come that day to obtain an abortion, but were having second thoughts; their deep pain and obvious concern for one another was very apparent. After perhaps thirty minutes of intense conversation with us, they withdrew to talk privately, then went back inside the abortion mill and were there about fifteen minutes, before they came out and again spoke intensely with us, asking about God’s love and forgiveness, and about our own experiences as married women and mothers. We talked for perhaps another thirty minutes, deeply moved by the couple’s complete engagement with the fate of their baby. It was unlike any previous experience we have had, and reminded us beyond anything of the need to reach out in unstinting love to these parents who are desperate, frightened, overwhelmed. It was the first time we had met avowedly pro-life people seeking abortion. After the second extended conversation, the couple left, saying they had put off the intended abortion, but were still uncertain what their final course would be. We were very much encouraged by their decision, partly because they told us they had seen an ultrasound of their child, which calmed Dave’s fears that the baby might have obvious developmental problems, or that there might be more than one baby, and partly because they had already expressed that as the baby grew bigger (they are fourteen weeks gestational now), abortion would cease to be an option. Please join us in storming Heaven for the calming of Dave’s fears and that they may experience peace and joy about their growing child.
What lovely people; I haven’t been able to get them out of my thoughts. I hope they come for a visit!
Thanks for a great morning; I always love doing 40 Days with you.
From Lisa K.:
The weather seemed to be having multiple personalities during my shift. One moment, sunny and warm- another, cold and rainy. But other than that, it was lovely to have such good people to pray with. Thank you to Joan, Carda, Virginia, Yolanda, and Billy. You each added something uniquely your own to our time there. Thank you for that, and for praying with me. Our prayers there are very much needed- as you know.
It was nice that several passersby gave positive remarks, smiles, or words of encouragement today. It’s beautiful to experience that. The negatives were so small that they were almost non-existent.