Dear 40 Days for Life Family,
Today is day 36 of our 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil to end abortion with God’s help. We have maintained the vigil at Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood abortion clinic now for 36 straight days. At least 700 people…many for the first time…came to pray and witness their belief that abortion is wrong at our vigil. 74 churches and/or church groups participated at the vigil. To see photos of them, go to http://www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh/index.cfm?load=page&page=24 We hope and pray that at least 8 lives have been spared from abortion in Pittsburgh. Nationally, 382 lives have been spared during this spring campaign.
While I was at the vigil this morning, along with some wonderful Christ-followers from St. John the Baptist church in Plum (see photos at the end of this message)…a man came up to talk with us. He expressed his agreement with us that abortion is wrong, but felt that it was cruel to take a public stand against it right where it happens. He explained that in his opinion, once a girl gets to the abortion clinic…she has already made the difficult choice to have an abortion, and that our presence there is just going to add to the pain that she is already feeling. He was very respectful and sincere in expressing his opinion to us, and I very much appreciate that he took the time to stop and share his views. So, I was thinking as I was driving home this morning…is it mean to witness against abortion…right where abortions happen? This man had said that we should be focusing our efforts on helping women to choose life BEFORE they get to the abortion clinic. I agree! That is the noble calling of crisis pregnancy centers… which we ALL should be supporting. But, back to my question…is it MEAN…CRUEL…to stand as a witness against abortion…at the SITE where women (some hurting very badly and in obvious pain over this choice that they have made) are walking in to have an abortion? It is true that on the day in which their abortions are scheduled, they are so numb and have closed themselves off to any other choice…and are making a bee-line to the door to just get it over with…that it is indeed rare for a woman to change her mind at that last minute. So, are we causing uneccessary pain to these poor women by our presence there? I believe this man has a valid point…and I know that many pro-lifers share this view point. So, I would like to express my thoughts regarding this.
I think it is mean to intentionally cause anyone pain…if there is no benefit to the person who is experiencing the pain. If I hurt someone by sticking a needle in their arm just to cause pain, that would be mean. But, when we take our child to the doctor, and they need a shot, the doctor sticks a needle in their arm and causes them pain…but it is not “mean” because the pain is for their benefit. So, whether or not something is mean…has everything to do with intent. Our intent by participating in the vigil aspect of 40 Days for Life is to bring the truth, love, forgiveness and hope of Christ to the abortion clinic…which is so full of despair, anger and deceit. We do this because we have FAITH that when we stand there, as Christians, that the Holy Spirit is REALLY present in that place, and we TRUST HIM to do HIS work on the hearts of the women going in to the clinic, and on the hearts of the family members who are with them, and on the hearts of the passerbys. So our intention is not to cause pain to these poor women, our intention is to help them and hope that through our physical witness the Holy Spirit will bring good from evil…even when they go ahead with the abortion. Sometimes one has to hurt before the healing can start.
So, we know that many women HAVE changed their minds and decided to give birth to their babies because God used our presence at the abortion clinic. Even if ONE woman changes her mind, it is worth the pain that other women may feel because we are there. But, still, how about all the thousands of girls who still walk in those doors and have abortions. We upset them, and they still went ahead with it. Shouldn’t we feel badly about hurting them? Should we simply turn our backs to them, so they don’t have to see our signs…out of respect for this difficult decision they have made? What if she had made the difficult decision to end her life, and was standing on a bridge, ready to jump? Wouldn’t we be doing everything we could to stop her? It is basically the same thing. If you have never watched or heard women give their post-abortive testimonies, it is heart-breaking. So many of them say that if only someone had been there to tell them not to do it, that they would have changed their minds. You can watch women share their testimonies at http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/
So, in conclusion, I think that if our opinion that witnessing at an abortion clinic is “mean”, that shows that we really don’t believe that any good will come of it, and that it is only causing needless pain to women who are already suffering. That shows our faith…or lack of it. If we think our presence there won’t do any good, then we really don’t believe that God is at work through us…and if that is the case, then it IS mean. So, I invite everyone who has FAITH to come and participate in the vigil! This is only for the faith-filled Christian!
Also, since we do need to reach the women BEFORE they come to the decision to abort…and it IS important to support our local crisis pregnancy centers, please support Women’s Choice Network and Choices Pregnancy Center by attending their “Walk for Life” events. You can register for Women’s Choice Network’s event which is on May 1st at noon by going to http://www.ministrysync.com/event/home.php?template_id=3719&lid=629606 . Or, register to participate in Choices Pregnancy Center’s Walk for Life, which is on May 7th at 9:30 in Coraopolis, go to http://www.ministrysync.com/event/home.php?template_id=3983&lid=605910
. .. If you would like to sponsor me, while I walk for Women’s Choice network, you can go to http://www.ministrysync.com/event/website/?m=645288 to make a donation.
Just a reminder, our last day of the vigil is this Sunday. Please let me know if you plan to come, and what time. Also, mark your calendar for our 40 Days for Life closing event…an Ice Cream social on May 1st at Allegheny Center Alliance Church’s Simpson Hall from 3-5pm. This will be immediately following Women’s Choice Network’s Walk for Life at PNC Park…so after you work up an appetite walking for life…head on over to ACAC for some icecream and fellowship!
Your sister in Christ,
P.S. Here are some photos from this morning: