When I was little, I had a recurring nightmare that made me dread going to sleep at night. I dreamed repeatedly that an enormous statue of King Kong stood in my backyard and that it came to life every night at sundown. The only way to prevent King Kong from eating my family was to pull down each window blind in our house so he couldn’t see that we were inside.
In the dream, as soon as it started to get dark, I would run around the house screaming for my parents to close the blinds (since I was too short to reach them myself.) But everyone in my family was in a trance-like state, moving in slow motion with smiles frozen on their faces, completely oblivious to the danger and my distress. I think the worst part of the dream was not my impending doom but my powerlessness to make anyone see what was happening.
I know you can relate.
No, not the part about the King Kong statue in your backyard coming to life…but the frustration of knowing that something awful is about to happen and being powerless to convince others of the danger. We experience it all the time at the vigil–whether it be in a conversation with a passer-by who just can’t acknowledge that abortion hurts women; or worse yet, when we are unable to stop a couple from passing through those dark doors on an abortion day. It’s agonizing to be aware of the physical and spiritual harm that happens inside Planned Parenthood while so many pass us by in a trance-like state, oblivious to the danger and unable to hear our desperate cries.
Our Heavenly Father speaks to us about feeling powerless through His Scriptures:
“…but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:9-10
I have to admit that I don’t like this passage. I don’t fully understand yet why God works in this manner. But… I’ve seen it in action. I bet you have, too. So I know we can TRUST God to take our sidewalk offering of sorrow and frustration and use it for marvelous things despite the fact that we can’t always perceive it. Please go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ and sign up to join us–or just show up when you can!
Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM
Rose and Bob arrived even before Diane left early this morning. Bob belongs to St. Thomas More Parish. He and his fellow parishioners are scheduled to sponsor our prayer vigil in front of PP all day today, 7 – 7. This being Friday the 13th, Rose shared that she is the 13th of 13 children. What an awesome gift she is as she brings the fragrance and beauty of her witness to early Friday mornings in downtown Pittsburgh in front of PP.
Al, Sally and Richard shared their happy glow and, in its light, we looked across Liberty Avenue and noticed Bill and Jenifer. Jenifer prefers to witness over there to give her a chance to share the prolife riches more easily. “People seem more ready to stop and talk,” she said.
Bob and Ryan shared a masculine vibe as they spoke with a young man who stopped to report that he has no children, but would welcome a steady place to call home.
The women going into PP went in pairs. Two were accompanied, each by a young man. Another was a duo that looked like a mother and daughter. It is awful to be there when a woman opens the door and goes in for an abortion. She will be hurting when she comes back out of those doors, her baby left behind in the trash. Some of her hurt can probably be easily remedied – Tylenol and quiet time on the couch. Her baby’s dying pain can be remedied – rest in the arms of God. The pain she feels for having chosen abortion will haunt her. Her heart will suffer at having loved ones choose the “easy way out”.
Sue, 11 AM-1 PM
I arrived to wonderful St. Thomas More prayers Carolyn, Karen and Chuck! St. Thomas More adopted the entire vigil today! Shortly after Chuck left, Roseanne and Tony came to say the rosary. A little into that, Ginny came from St. Bernard’s…the South Hills was well represented today! The picture shows Tony, Carolyn, Ginny, Roseanne and Karen! It was beautiful weather and we got a lot of positive support and some negative as well. Unfortunately PP was busy enough today…I saw two girls leave and one actually jumped up to click her heels and say how happy she was. Maybe she feels relief right now, but I wonder if she will ever reflect on this day. If so, hopefully she turns to Rachel’s Vineyard or a similar program! We also had a young man knock over the vigil sign and the baby models went flying. I called the police and they were able to track him down and issue a citation!! Shift manager Lisa came early for her shift with her beautiful daughters. As I was leaving a first time vigil participant (Ken?) arrived. It is so nice to see the new faces as people come to understand the magnitude of this tragedy and take action!
Lisa C. 3-5 PM
Quiet for us on our shift but with abundant prayers in conjunction with the request of Our Lady of the Rosary on the 100th Anniversary of her appearance in Fatima asking for prayers for the entire world!!!
Thank you, Ginny as well as Bill from St Phillip, Gerry from St Thomas, and the youngsters from St Monica. We love and thank you all for sacrificing your time for others and witnessing for our loving, merciful God!
Pat, 5-7 PM
This was one of the quietest and most prayerful evenings I’ve ever had on a Friday night. Mary was with me for the first hour and we spent most of it in prayer. She hadn’t even signed-up to come down, but just wanted to pray a rosary or two down here before going to the event at St. Paul’s Seminary this evening. She was, she said, moved by the Spirit and by the fact that today was the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun which took place at Fatima. Had she not been there I would have been alone for that first half hour.
I was praying alone for about 10 minutes when I was surprised by former Shift Manager Julie – also a member of St. Thomas More. We also prayed together for the bulk of our time as well. The only strange incident was that, as we were praying, Julie noticed that the pink sandwich sign was on its side. We hadn’t heard anything so we reasoned that someone decided to put it that way quietly. Oh well.
Please check back later for more from the sidewalk…