I was inspired to choose HUMILITY as the theme of our next 40 Days for Life (Sept. 26 – Nov. 4), after witnessing a profound witness of humility on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.
Two weeks ago, at the end of a very sad and discouraging sidewalk advocate shift, we were wrapping it up and preparing to leave. My sidewalk partner knelt to pray before leaving. Now, I have seen many people kneel to pray on the sidewalk before…and I myself have often knelt to pray on the hard brick pavement. So I am not sure why her prayer moved me so much on this particular day…but I felt my eyes well up with tears as I watched her unselfconsciously pray, as if she were all alone in her room. Seemingly oblivious to the many passersby, her face covered with her hands, she poured her heart out to her God…her Father. It was so intimate…so touching. I noticed that others seemed to be moved by her witness as well, as they walked by.
Driving home that morning, it occurred to me that the theme for our next 40 days should encompass what I witnessed on the sidewalk…GENUINE HUMILITY. And I thought that we should ask people to come to kneel for a few minutes of prayer, and to leave a flower on the sidewalk in honor of a child. Not that this is intended to be a “show”, or to be a “ploy” to try to draw emotion from people…but that it will be an HONEST show of respect for the lives of the children that are lost there. The humility of kneeling on the sidewalk is a witness to others, (as well as to ourselves and to God), that we are helpless to save these children…but that we care, and believe that their lives matter. The flowers will speak to the beauty of each life that is created by God. Whether Planned Parenthood allows the flowers to remain as a witness on the sidewalk, or they choose to pick them up and throw them away is irrelevant. The flowers will speak…either from the sidewalk or from the garbage cans inside Planned Parenthood. They will speak for the beautiful babies who cannot.
I realize that this is a very exciting time in the pro-life movement…with Justice Kennedy’s retirement and the promise of a pro-life justice being appointed to the supreme court. There is actually a real chance of Roe Vs. Wade being overturned! That is simply amazing! But I don’t want to get too excited yet. This is not the time to celebrate…it’s the time to pray and fast more than ever before!!! It’s the time to be HUMBLE. The verse from Psalm 131 came to me as I was driving…”But I have calmed and quieted my soul, as a weaned child with its mother…”
Genuine humility does not get angry or impatient.
We have been working hard for many years. We have prayed our hearts out. We have fasted. We have been a public witness for life on the sidewalk…no matter the weather. We have been there with our signs and our fetal models, showing the beauty and truth of life. Hearts and minds are changing in this nation. It’s true that there is an ever-increasing division…but I think that is okay. When the lines are clearly drawn, there is less chance that anyone will be deceived into choosing the wrong side. Everything is out in the open…finally. I can’t seem to walk past the television without hearing the words “abortion” coming from it. That is a big change from 10 years ago. The issue of abortion was hidden, swept under the rug…dressed up in fancy phrases such as “women’s health”. No longer. It is now being called out for what it is. This is all God’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
But whether or not this will be the time that Roe Vs. Wade is overturned…I don’t know. I plan to pray and fast for this intention, but no matter what happens…the important thing is to continue to humbly fight this battle on our knees. To not give up hope. To not get too excited about the highs and not get too discouraged by the lows. To simply TRUST that God is working. Our prayers are being answered. The harvest is indeed great….and so we need to ask the Master of the Harvest to send more WORKERS!!!
Which, in fact, leads me to the reason for this email. I have been working to prepare for the fall campaign, and our faithful vigil shift managers continue to be the bedrock of our 40 day witness on the sidewalk. Almost all of them have recommitted, although a few have had to take a break. We have a need for some new vigil shift managers. I normally try to personally recruit vigil shift managers, but I would like to put this out there to everyone this time. If you feel God prompting you to become more involved in 40 Days for Life, and to become one of our wonderful team members, please reply to let me know how you can help. There are 3 weekly shifts that I need to find vigil shift managers for. (This will be from September 26 – Nov. 5). They are:
Mondays from 5-7pm
Thursdays from 5-7pm
Fridays from 5-7pm
If any of these shifts would fit into your schedule this coming fall, and if you feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to step out in faith to help us maintain our 40 day prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood, please reply to this email to let me know.
I also want to let you know of another opportunity to be a witness for life in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, July 18th. It is called “The Bridge Project”, and is organized by Pro Life Action League. The idea of this project is to provide a witness on bridges over high traffic roads during rush hour. There are no graphic images on the signs, simply the words, “Abortion takes a human life”. The witness will be from 7-9am and then again from 4-6pm. It will be held on the Gerst Way overpass, which goes over Rt. 279 in the north side of Pittsburgh. 4 people are needed for the 7-9am shift, and another 4 people are needed for the afternoon shift. If you are interested in finding out more information about this, contact Peg Donley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (412) 303-2064. Now more than ever, it is important to keep the pro-life message visible to as many people as possible! This is one way of reaching thousands of people!
Finally, the Diaper Drive was a huge success! Thanks to all who donated, and thanks to Charlene and Dick for organizing it! Here is what Charlene wrote:
The Diaper Drive was a great success! I knew it would be as soon as I saw all of the escorts scurrying around trying to see our permits. 🤣Thank you to all who contributed..you have helped a lot of families! We got a car full of diapers and wipes..and $340 in cash! Wahoo! It was good to be back on the sidewalk between campaigns and Dick loved organizing the diapers so they all fit! It was a good day…hot but as Tim said, “We will remember this when it is 5 degrees and snowing”.
Thanks for being a part of our 40 Days for Life family!
May God bless you!