Day 24, Barbara’s Reflections

Friday’s weather was cold, if you are interested in weather. Human warmth conquered the April chill.
It is hard to know which of the young women leaving Planned Parenthood has had an abortion. One young teenager, surrounded by two people who looked like her parents, could hardly walk and looked grief stricken. Her parents shepherded her past us. We looked and prayed quietly for them all. We paid attention and tried to pray for each group that walked out through those dark doors.
When you hold a sign asking people to pray for the end of abortion on a busy downtown street Friday evening as people board commuter buses or look for a good place to eat dinner, you expose your heart. You might think it isn’t attractive to talk about prayer or abortion in public. Trying to keep warm enough for 4 hours, we certainly didn’t look attractive.
Something was attractive. Just about 1 in 20 people had something to say to us. “Thank you for being here.” “This is a good thing.” “It is their choice.” Others used body English, smiles or thumbs up. Some frowned and looked away. One man looked away when I smiled. He joined the bus line, looked back, came back and touched my shoulder. “Thank you for what you are doing.”
One attractive “30 something” young woman strode quickly past saying that Planned Parenthood gives good breast exams. I would have loved to talk with her about Abby Johnson’s revelations, but she walked fast and looked away. Maybe the next time when she passes, one of us will smile, again, and she might walk more slowly, or perhaps, stop to talk.
I always admired the strength of the love of St. Francis of Assisi and Maisie Ward, people who stood in the public square sharing the good news of God’s love. Thank you, Nikki, and the 40 Days for Life people who sustain this effort and give me a chance to do just that.

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