Yesterday was my very first experience with an abortion clinic vigil. There were no dramatic events or stories in the 4 hours I stood praying outside the Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood. Only a few people came and went at the clinic. The door was locked and most of those who entered and exited seemed to be employees rather than clients.
We did not have knowledge of any babies lives saved during those four hours we Presbyterian-Catholic-Bible Church-Orthodox-women, stood praying and sharing fellowship in our vigil. Still I could see in the faces that our very presence was having an impact. Several young men and women asked for a copy of the brochures we held. Many thanked us for being there and expressed support for the pro-life position. Only two in four hours expressed their wish that we would “leave everybody alone and go away”. Almost everyone looked at the signs.
Facial expressions varied as they passed by. A few glared, many looked away, some smiled, some frowned or looked at us with disgust. Many began a conversation among themselves about abortion as they passed, expressing their opinions to each other. Often they would look at the signs and then look up to see what building we stood in front of–realizing for the first time perhaps that abortions are taking place in Pittsburgh in a building they likely pass by every day. All of these reactions made the 4 hours of standing (including the few minutes of drenching rain, the less than pleasant city smells, the noise of buses and traffic, the glares from a few) worthwhile.
It was easy to see that this simple act of standing in prayer draws attention to the sin of abortion that Planned Parenthood would seek to hide. The clear discomfort of employees hustling to and from the building in our presence is evidence of God’s work in hearts and minds in answer to our prayers.
If you have been contemplating joining the vigil–do it! It will change you and you will be blessed!