“Hey! Who you callin’ dust?” These words from Scripture, spoken to us just a few days ago on Ash Wednesday, can sometimes make our egos bristle. Remembering our humble beginning and ending can feel uncomfortable.
Every one of us started as a powerless, vulnerable child in the womb. And every one of us will die someday. The only reason that we are able to do anything in between is because God wills it.
It’s probably part of our fallen nature to want to gloss over that. We would much rather give ourselves credit for anything that we accomplish. It’s definitely a part of the humanistic culture of our world today not to acknowledge any power apart from our own. We see ourselves as in control, and anything contrary to that idea is threatening.
That denial of God’s sovereignty lies at the root of abortion and is arguably our biggest hurdle to ending it. 40 Days for Life is so effective because it tackles the problem head-on with its first two facets, prayer and fasting. The third facet, outreach, helps to reassure people that it’s “safe” to relinquish control over every detail and to trust God to provide for us. When we offer concrete assistance to those in crisis, we allow God to reach through us and embrace His beloved children, born and unborn.
Thank you for being part of this 40 Days for Life campaign–let’s give it all we’ve got this time around! And together, let’s ask God to soften the hearts of all His children so that we can let go of our illusion of control, humbly recognize His Fatherhood, and allow ourselves to be loved and cared for by Him in all circumstances–especially when facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Here are stories and pictures from today’s vigil:
7-9: Barbara and Richard
It was a rainy, cold, blustery morning but did not stop the great prayer warriors from St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park, led by Bob H. and Jeannie. Sally and Al boosted the group, and Bill H. and Vickie also stopped by amidst the raindrops. It was very quiet in the weather, and we were happily inclined to pray “robustly” with our appeals ringing off the buildings downtown. We worked our way through the Intercessions on the back of the baby photo posters – they cover a lot of intentions! Quiet on the streets, lots of smiles and support.
Things picked up for the St. Thomas More Group, and on the sidewalk. Marilyn, Patty and Jeannie were joined by Superstar prayer warriors Jack and Jerry who stayed until 2pm in the rain and wind!!! This group was a real presence on the sidewalk, and at one point had a “human hug” going as we stationed ourselves just on the life -affirming side of the yellow line!
More members of St. Thomas More (with children, too) joined the prayer vigil: Carolyn and Karen and Terry completed a group when Sweet Mimi came from uptown with her friendly demeanor and her grateful heart. Sidewalk advocate Kathy and Terry joined the vigil, too.
1-3: Dave and Noreen
Other than being cold our first shift went well. We had quite a few positive comments, a few God Bless Yous and a good amount of nods and smiles.
We did have one person who spit on our display. But other than that, it was a good day filled with love and lots of prayers.
We were relieved by Lisa and family and it was lovely to see young people coming to pray for an end to abortion!!!
3-5: Lisa and family
First-timer Steve from St. Thomas More joined in here. A beautiful thing happened during these afternoon hours! Every weekday during this shift, a line of commuters lines the street waiting for a bus to Beaver County—this happens 2 times a day and the commuters generally stand a foot in on the sidewalk listening to music or using their phones. In the several years I have been down during these shifts, I have always tried to get our message to these folks- never.any.luck. NOT TODAY!!!!!!! One of the would-be commuters asked if he could pray with us for a few minutes! Steve from STM had a nice, welcoming conversation with him and we watched him get into the line. YAY for public witness, Yay for friendly Christians. Yay for LIFE!
Unlike yesterday’s unfortunate SMs, I was able to enjoy more traditional February weather out there on the sidewalk this evening. I was joined by good friend, SM, and now blogger, Jeannie, who made sure that the whole day was covered by her parish. Then former SM and good friend Julie joined me, allowing Jeannie to go home and thaw-out. Benson came near the end (and straight from high school baseball practice!). It was a nice mix of prayer and conversation with just one, very mild, negative comment the whole evening.