“He will command his angels concerning you, and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
This world is getting scary, isn’t it? We see how the lack of respect for human life and the lack of knowledge of God has led to mass killings, such as happened Sunday night in Las Vegas.
In our prayerful witnessing in front of Planned Parenthood, we are vulnerable. We are putting ourselves in the public eye…standing as a sign that ALL human life is precious and valuable and WORTH our sacrifice.
Yesterday, our dear Sally was knocked over intentionally by a passerby. She fell flat on her back on the sidewalk, but miraculously…(she is in her 80’s and frail) she was not hurt a bit! I spoke to her this morning, and not only was she not hurting, but she was in excellent spirits! She says that her angel cushioned her fall…and I don’t doubt that for a minute! You see, Sally and her husband Al have devoted their lives for the past 3o years to defending unborn human life. If you call their house phone and get their voicemail, Al’s voice will inform you that every day in this nation, thousands of little babies are killed by abortion, and urge you to do something about it. Their car has many pro life bumper stickers on it, they witness in front of Magee Hospital every-other month, take part in Face the Truth tours…and come to Planned Parenthood twice a week EVERY week, ALL YEAR ROUND. They, along with Bob Newman, were the very first pro-life people I ever met. When Sally informed me that she had given birth to 11 children, I was flabbergasted! I never even knew it was POSSIBLE for someone to have that many children and still be able to walk around and be active! But the word “active” is an understatement when describing Sally. She is smart…no, more than just smart…the word to describe her is WISE. She is so wise. She and Al are a TEAM! In fact, I used to get their names mixed up and refer them as “Sal and Ally”…they are so united in their marriage, their faith and their cause. I have never seen a trace of bitterness or resentment in Sally…just peace. She has an incredible peace about her, that I guess is what comes from living a life faithful to God and having no regrets in her past. It makes me a little envious…but not really…because I can still STRIVE to end up like Sally someday. With God’s grace, maybe I can get there.
There was an incident last week at the vigil where a very hurting woman screamed and ranted for 45 minutes. Our hearts and prayers go out to her that she will find healing. But here is what Sally wrote to our team about it:
So many of these young people have been lied to all their lives by teachers, the media, and often by their family members. They have little or no faith in God, no idea about right and wrong, and no clue about how they should be living. So when they mess up their lives they have nowhere to turn for help. That’s why they drink too much, take drugs, sleep around, and kill themselves. We know someone who has lost 20 friends to death, half of them by suicide. These young people do not understand our campaign motto of TRUST. It might as well be in a foreign language. Isn’t that sad? They need the help that big time prayer can give them. Please, all of you, pray every day for all the lost ones who are out there. They are SO NEEDY. Thanks. Sally
So let us thank God for protecting Sally yesterday, and let’s continue to step out in faith and TRUST God to protect us during our peaceful witness on Liberty Avenue! As WE are there to protect the most vulnerable…the babies…I have confidence that God’s angels are surrounding US as well!
Now for today’s shift reports…
Kathy wrote from the early morning shift (7-9):
Pleasant weather is always a positive when standing on the sidewalk. Many passersby smiled. Many glances at our signs and the fetal baby models. One young woman engaged in conversation on her phone approached the display and told her listener that the models “scare her.” I would have liked to ask her why they did.
Thank you to those who stopped by before going to work or starting their daily routine:
Vicky from Hosanna church, Bill H , Pat M , Tom, and Robert. Thank you to Eloisa who comes weekly and filled the 9 to 10 prayer need for S M Cathy.
Cathy Z. was the 9-11am shift manager and was going to have to stand alone for her first hour, but thanks to Eloisa, she had company!
Eloisa and I had a fairly quiet shift. We prayed together and separately, and gave out a few cards. She stayed until 10 when St. Bernard’s and Assumption arrived, with Ken arriving about the same time. Many people were nice, with “God Bless you” or “Thank you” , one couple was not when I offered them a card as they were going into the clinic. A pickup went by and the man passenger yelled “prochoice!” An interesting statement was made while I was waiting at the bus stop to go home. A woman strode past me and yelled across the street “God loves the abortion doctors too!” Of course He does, He just doesn’t love what they are doing. Some people must think we (and God) don’t love them because of what they do, when that is farthest from the truth. God loves us all, so much He doesn’t want us to stay in our sin.
Jim filled in for Hank for the 11-1 shift and took this photo:
Chris managed the vigil from 1-3 and wrote:
I walked to the vigil site today trying to be more aware of my surroundings and saying a prayer for Sally. Everything was fine during my shift; in fact, there was not one critical word spoken by a passerby. When I arrived I was greeted by the prayers words of a Rosary being led by Jim, the shift manager, and prayer warriors from Indiana and Chippewa. Shortly thereafter I was joined by Pastor Adam and Ginny. It was great to have company on the sidewalk. There were the usual comings and goings of the PP staff and just a handful of “clients” entering PP. The highlight of the shift came when Pastor Adam greeted a woman walking by us with her boyfriend. When he asked if she would like a resource card for someone who might be pregnant, she said, yes, that she was pregnant with her second child. Pastor Adam then asked her if he could pray with her, which he did, for her, her unborn child, and her boyfriend. She gladly took the resource card and thanked Pastor Adam.
Barbara and Richard report from the 3-5 shift:
We half expected an ice cream truck to pull over to the curb, with kiddie music playing. Today felt like a summer day in the burbs. By the grace of God, Wednesday is not an abortion day.
We were joined by Pastor Adam, Fran, Benson and Bill. We were book ended by Chris and Joe, shift managers. We tried to be vigilant to avoid any shoves or other unpleasant items. But we are people persons and more watching for a friendly face and someone to talk with. Every passer by was pleasant, nodded or gave thumbs up. At least 3 people stopped to thank us for being there.
We are there because there is nowhere else we would want to be during Pittsburgh 40 Days. It is impossible to explain. I know I have always been opinionated and declined to be budged.
God is generous.
We are so grateful for the people who stand up in our group and help guide and keep us on track.
Joe wrote about his 5-7 shift report…
Probably best way to describe today’s shift – weather, vibe, folks… is “Peaceful Easy Feeling” – just refreshing after a “hectic” first week for the campaign…
Overall, “seemed” like less than normal foot and street traffic / noise. Not much activity for folks exiting 933 Liberty Avenue. Really minimal reaction from the passerby’s – seemed like everyone wanted to get “somewhere”…
I was joined for the entirety of my shift by individual volunteers Christopher and Nadine – the talk and prayer came easy, we just soaked up the weather / enjoying the comfortable temps and gentle breeze against an Indian Summer-like background of sun splashed building tops – Thanks Guys!
Found out that both Christopher (who was in town from Milwaukee) and Nadine are both proud parents of young men serving our country – one in the Army, the other in Marines – God Bless them and God Bless America…
…and God Bless our vigil and those that participate, help out, lead, pray, and just care so much and our mission. Let us not be deterred….
A deacon stopped by to wish us well and to indicate that his group would be coming to witness later in the campaign and a young man stopped by and asked for material, but didn’t really want to talk. …and of course, the mother and children that always pass by before the shift ends made their appearance… and the shift faded to black…