Hanging on for Dear Life!
This image is how I feel right now, spiritually. Please allow me to explain.
In my shift report last Wednesday I wrote, “As I was praying on my knees in front of Planned Parenthood, I sensed that somehow, something is now different…something has changed”. All week I have had this feeling that the Lord has answered our prayers. He has removed the cover of darkness and exposed evil…making it clear. No more deception. People are now free to choose good or evil. Everything that we could do, has been done. What I didn’t write in my shift report were the words that I felt the Lord gave me while I was kneeling in front of Planned Parenthood. Those words were, “It is Finished.” I am not a prophet, so I don’t know if this is really from the Lord or not…but it seems to fit this new sense of relief that I am feeling in my soul.
I say that I have a sense of relief, but that is not a good description really…because I am working at a frantic pace all day, every day. But as I am rushing around trying to do everything I need to do… I now feel that I am being carried along by God. Instead of me having to do the “pushing”…it is now God doing all the work! And it is truly a relief! (Even though I am not resting.)
The analogy that has come to my mind is one of a group of backpackers who have hiked for many grueling days to get to the launch site for a whitewater rafting adventure. While they were hiking through the woods, it was mostly by their own strength. They had to push themselves to get up early and push through the physical exhaustion and discomforts of trekking through the wilderness. Now that they are in the river, it is completely different. It is not up to them to push themselves…the raging water will do that for them. But, they still need to be alert and energetic! They cannot let their guard down as they maneuver the dangers of the water. But it is different. The river is in control. It is their responsibility to stay in the boat and hang on for dear life!
That is how I feel right now. For many years, we have struggled with our own weakness, fears, laziness…busy schedules…WHATEVER….but we have persevered in this spiritual battle against abortion. We have held 17 consecutive 40 day prayer vigils in front of Planned Parenthood. We have LABORED and have suffered weariness on occasion. But now…oh now...we are in the water! We see God moving! He is now carrying us! We don’t know how it will turn out, but we trust in HIM and know that HE is at work BIG TIME!!! Now is not the time to relax or let our guard down, however! It is time to pray and fast more than ever before! If you haven’t heard, Brett Kavanaugh’s wife is asking everyone to pray Psalm 40 over their family each day. Please pray this Psalm for them, and consider fasting as you are able. I am also including David Daleiden in these prayers also, and have been adding the St. Michael the Archangel chaplet for him each day. You can learn how to pray this chaplet HERE.
The Gospel from today is from Luke 9, and the verse that struck me was, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
We have been hard at work behind the plow all these years. Let’s not look back now! Keep our focus on God…our spirits humble and trust in our good and gracious Lord, and HE WILL DO THE REST!!!
Read below for the shift reports from today, where many faithful brothers and sisters are keeping their hands on the plow!
Mary is a new shift manager and is doing a fabulous job! Here is her report from 7-9am:
While it was still dark beautiful Diane arrived with our setup for the day. Diane and my faithful buddy Peg(with a big bouquet of flowers)were there to greet me when came at 7 AM. Together with Chris and Denny from St Louise de Merillac ,we said the opening prayer for day 8. Karen and Brad, also from St Louise joined us at 8 AM. Denny asked us to pray psalm 40 with him. I didn’t know until he and Chris told me that Judge Kavanaugh’s wife requested us all to say this prayer. Denny also led us in the very beautiful humility prayer,which I never heard before. I am so happy that he introduced me to it and I intend to pray it daily. At 9 AM , before we departed, Tom from St Louise arrived. Another man(also from St Louise)was on his way,stuck in traffic.It was wonderful to meet all of these beautiful people from St Louise de Marillac-thank you so much.Our trusty manager Kathy was there to take over,along with Tom and how can I forget our friend, Evangelist Bill Lang. We had a basically uneventful shift but, I believe,a very heartfelt,quiet, prayerful, witness.
Cathy managed the vigil from 9-11…and wrote:
Had quiet morning praying with the good people of St Louise de Marillac. Did talk briefly with a girl going into the clinic for birth control, and was able to give her “everyone’s biography”, the resource card and a flyer on birth control. Later a woman stopped to say she had given up her second child for adoption because she knew she could not care for her. Even though it was hard she knew she did the right thing. Her first child was taken from her at age 9 because she (the mom) was on drugs. Pray for them and others like them.
Hank was the shift manager from 11-1 and wrote:
Good day w 9 people from St Louise de Marillac there to pray until noon. The group included Seamus, Tom, Randy, Mary, Joe, Diane, Jean, Angela, and Matt. We prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy multiple times and distributed much literature. Arlene from St. Maurice and Paul from Christ the Light of the World Duquesne. By passers were for the most part positive some indifferent and only one negative We were all blessed to witness for life today. hank
Chris was the manager from 1-3. He wrote:
What beautiful weather to pray in! At the outset I was joined by Arlene, Paul, Mary Lou from St. John Neumann (my parish), and Mary Jane. A short while later, Nikki knelt in the street facing the doors of Planned Parenthood, in silent witness for the little ones whose lives have been and will be lost there. What a powerful message to the workers inside those walls. We received many positive comments and just several negative ones. The most moving moment came when a 60-year old woman stopped by with her teenage grandson to talk with us. She said that she had an abortion 45 years ago (1973, the year of Roe v. Wade…). When asked if she remembered it, she looked at us sadly, and said, “Yes”. She and her grandson looked at the fetal models and the grandmother commented to him that he was born prematurely and fit into her hand. She pointed to our largest fetal model, and said “about that size”. After they left, we all thought how powerful and lives-changing it would be if abortion-minded women about to enter PP could hear her story.
Jeannie wrote from her 3-5pm shift:
What a beautiful day down on the sidewalk today. I was greeted by Mary Jane and soon joined by Joe who was working double shift one for his parish and secondly a shift manager. We had several folks during our shift come up unexpectedly and say how grateful they were that we were here. These were not typical people you expect but rather a wonderful representation that abortion touches everybody.
We were joined later bye Philene from Saint Bernard‘s and we were able to do the luminous mysteries in addition to the sorrowful mysteries and even a chaplet of divine Mercy. It’s always good to be there when the school kids are coming by. The fetal models are priceless. They all look at them.
We had 2 interesting encounters with young women who objected to us being there. One young girl said she appreciated our right to free speech but she thought the pro-life position was misogynistic. I thought it was funny that she was voicing her complaint to 2 women !
For another woman and I showed her the beautiful ‘young one’ Model we have & invited her to take it. In both situations we presented a loving, open, discussion-based opportunity for these women to come forward.
I hope that in the future they will stay and talk. We certainly have created a safe and loving place for it.
French off the bench
And last but not least, shift manager Joe reports from the 5-7pm shift:
A stunningly beautiful Indigenous Summer evening provided the backdrop for the last shift of today…
I was blessed to be joined with Shift Buddies Benson (St. Benard’s) and Jim (Holy Child). We shared, we prayed, and we interacted with passerby’s that stopped to talk…
Tonight’s theme seemed to be on “interaction” for which Colossians 4:6 seems to sum it up best:
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one.”
One woman passed by once and raised issues that the Fetal Models were (I’m paraphrasing now) “not accurate” 🙂 She returned a little later and re-iterated her “concerns”… I tried to explain that it was consistent with the “Watch Me Grow” flyers that we have available. She would have none of it and offered no details as to the issues… After she had left, Benson astutely noted that there was additional info posted on the models from The Mayo Clinic that backed up the sizes of the models and the flyer…
3 teenage girls stopped to talk, with one in particular doing the majority of the talking asking us our questions about our Pro-Life positions. This now 2 weeks in a row, young folks have stopped to talk / discuss in a healthy way – yes, there is hope!
I must commend Jim on how he addressed the questions from this group in a respectful and meaningful way – I just had to just shut-up / not but-in and watch the Spirit guide him – it was beautiful…
Another woman stopped by briefly to express being “confounded” by our focus on “the egg” – She didn’t stay long enough for us to talk further that Pro-Life is Pro-Woman!
The rest of the night was spent in prayer and ended when Faithful Tom & Diane came to collect everything for tomorrow – Thanks Guys!