First of all, I want to thank our early morning Shift Manager, Jen…and a prayer volunteer named Mary for holding our vigil by themselves this morning. Of course, Sally & Al probably stopped for a while, on their way to mass…but I have a feeling it may have been a lonely time on that sidewalk for most of the morning. I thank you two women of God from the bottom of my heart. I truly cannot give up fighting this battle when there are selfless people like you who are willing to work for our cause.
I visited the vigil later in the afternoon today and took these photos of the group that were there:
Speaking of “quitting the battle”…is anyone else feeling discouraged that we have completed 12 of our 40 days, and there have been no babies saved (that we know of) in Pittsburgh? I have to admit that I am. But, nationally, among the 301 cities that are conducting 40 Days for Life campaigns, 119 babies have been saved! Praise our kind Father for that! And pray that we will see a baby saved here in Pittsburgh to encourage us!
Do you think God is testing our obedience? Maybe He wants to see if we will continue to be faithful to stand for righteousness, even when we don’t see fruit. Even when there are few standing with us. Even in the early morning hours when we could be home in bed. Even in the cold rain. Even when an occasional passerby screams curses at us and others ridicule us. Even on a Sunday afternoon, while most of the city is in front of the TV watching the Steelers game. There we stand. A faithful few…holding our signs that say “pray to end abortion”. Will we give up if we don’t see any fruit from our efforts this fall? What if there are no babies saved (that we know of) this fall. Will we continue to stand vigil during the spring 2012 40 Days for Life?
Actually, the following thought just occurred to me:
What if God has already saved babies by using our public witness, but He is not allowing us to know it? What if, at the end of our 40 days, many babies have been saved…but He chooses not to let us know? I guess that’s where faith comes in. Maybe He wants to see our faith in action? This reminds me of something that happened to me at the end of the fall 2010 40 days. I was standing on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, holding my sign. I saw a petite african-american woman walking directly towards me…looking right at me. She walked up to me and said, “I got off the bus a stop early hoping you would be here. I just had to tell you that I was planning to have an abortion last February, but I saw you standing in the cold…and I knew you didn’t have to be here…and I decided that I couldn’t do it. My little girl, Malawnia was born a few days ago”. She beamed as she said “She is perfect! She is such a blessing! Thank you!” And she showed me the hospital band that was still on her wrist. After she left, I realized that baby had been saved during the spring 2010 40 Days for Life campaign, but we never knew it!
Sure, it is much nicer for us when we see immediate results from our efforts…but don’t you think it means more to God when He sees that we persevere anyway…even without those results? Maybe that is what true repentance and true obedience look like.
So, thank you for your sacrifice…please persevere. I will be alone at the vigil tomorrow morning (Monday) from 7am – 10am. I really don’t mind, but if anyone wants to stop by and pray with me, that would be nice. Also, Tomorrow at 4pm our shift manager will be alone for that one hour. On Tuesday, from 3pm – 6 pm there is no one signed up to stand with our shift managers Jim & Cathy. Also on Thursday, for one hour at 2pm, Shift Manager Lisa will be alone. Friday morning, 7am-9am we don’t have anyone signed up and Sunday the 11am and 1pm hours are empty. If you can help fill one of those hours, please go to www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh and click on the “vigil schedule” or call me at 412-926-9413.
Also, just a reminder that our Mid-Point gathering will be this coming Sunday at 6pm in the Catholic Charities Welcome Center, located at the corner of 9th and Liberty. Therefore, our vigil will not continue at Planned Parenthood after 6pm. At 7pm, we will have a candlelit procession to Planned Parenthood for prayer and hyms, lead by Rev. Steve Hubbard.
Thanks for listening,
Your sister in Christ,