This reflection was beautifully written by Shift Manager Barbara:
The third shift on Wednesday, 10/19 was uneventful if you can find anything uneventful when you are witnessing at the gates of hell.
In Luke 16: 19-31 you read Jesus’ parable of the rich man, Abraham and Lazarus. In his torment in Hades the rich man looked up and asked Abraham to send Lazarus to him with a sip of water. Abraham said, “…between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop any one, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.” The rich man then asked, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” Finally Abraham answered, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”
Jesus did rise from the dead. And some people find him and his presence in their hearts so compelling that they brave the weather and insults and stand at the Pittsburgh downtown Planned Parenthood site, the gates of hell, to try to warn people that abortion is an absolute evil.
Abortion is a choice. When a family kills its baby, the result of this choice is that their baby is irreversibly dead. The hearts of everyone involved in that abortion are irrevocably changed. However, in the unsurpassable mercy of our Father, while people are alive, no damage to the human soul is irreversible.
How can my prayers, my presence, my conversation, the stacks of pamphlets detailing the horrors of abortion: how can I help these people determined to choose or to help others choose abortion? No wise person expects to know the outcome of acts done in love of God.
Last evening a woman walking by stopped and smiled. “I always wanted to thank you. You people have given me so many prolife pamphlets. I always gave them to my 3 nieces. One of those nieces became pregnant last fall. She decided against abortion. Her little girl, Zoe, was born prematurely but is doing just fine today. Thank you so much.”
Mike, “I’m thirty,” stopped and talked about his new job and Amanda, the girl he proposed to 2 months ago. He talked about his single mother raising him and how sorry he is about how tough he made it on her. “She is my hero, now.” He talked about chastity and his hopes that he and Amanda, whom he had been dating for 2 years, could make a good marriage. “I was raised Catholic and I know the rules,” he said.
Responding to my “Hello,” a well dressed man turned angrily and told me how angry he is with the pictures of aborted children and mean slurs the prolife people hurl at the gay people who enter the bar just next door to Planned Parenthood. “You are horrible people,” he said loudly. “I have a PhD in Biology and know about abortion.” I was reminded of Bernard Nathanson, MD, a founder of NARAL, recently deceased and author of The Hand of God.
That meeting was such a sad event for me. The man was angry. He needed us to listen. He needed our patience. He needed our love. I know that not one of the people in 40 Days for Life thinks harshly about a homosexual person. That is a hard life and those people evoke our love. If he had permitted it, I would have loved to treat him to coffee and companionship at Bruegger’s across the street. God is great.