What a gorgeous day to be outside today! Many people took advantage of the beautiful weather and came to the vigil today! Jen, our early morning Shift Manager, wrote:
“This morning, our vigil was blessed with the presence of three faithful friends who come every Sunday, three new friends who stayed for the entire four hours, a
beautiful pregnant woman who (along with her wonderful family) is active in the pro-life movement, and an anonymous gentleman who stopped to pray the Rosary on his way to Mass. God also blessed us with about 30 minutes of direct sunlight, which felt like a hug from Him! We all took notice of the display in the bookstore window several doors down. It includes a picture of Jesus and a “word bubble” Scripture quote
in which He warns us not to be like the hypocrites who pray on the street corners. It made me think of how Satan twisted Scripture to suit his purposes when he
tempted our Lord in the desert. Satan is using that display to tempt us to feel embarrassed, to question what we’re doing, to quit showing up. But just as Jesus put the Scriptures into context when He explained to Satan why He would not give in, we need to look deeper and stand our ground. Our Lord was warning us not to pray publicly in order to gain applause or approval. Praying in front of Planned Parenthood, we are far more likely to receive rejection and ridicule (as the display proves!) If we are there praying out of love for the children, the mothers, and the clinic workers, we have no reason to be concerned.”
According to the Second Shift Manager, Nikki W., they had “church on the sidewalk”! This is the sort of thing that is going to break down walls, folks! Thanks for your continued participation in our 40 Days for Life! We are almost half-way there! Nikke wrote the following about her “shift” today:
“PRAISE GOD! Today was amazing. Northway church, St. Lawerance O’Toole, St, Theresa of Avila, Mother of Sorrows from Greensburg, and Saint Mary’s in Export and also Saint Philadelas. The streets were filled with prayer and holy people. Over 20 Women, men and children came out to pray today. We had church on the street corner. We sang hymns, we prayed the rosary, the divine mercy chaplet, and the pro life prayers. It was amazing! Some small incidents but nobody really noticed because they were so busy
praying. Praise GOD! WOW! GOD sure did shine his smiling face on us today.”
Speaking of the half-way mark…I have to mention something. God convicted me yesterday, when I found myself feeling happy that we are half-way through…and looking forward to the end. He brought to my mind Sally and Al Brunn…and Bob Newman. These selfless warriors for the Lord wouldn’t think about the end of 40 Days for Life being a relief for them…because they continue to be a presence at Planned Parenthood every “abortion-day” ALL YEAR ROUND! Rain, shine, snow or sleet…whether it’s 10 degrees or 90 degrees, they are there. They stand as a last beacon of hope for people who are entering the abortion clinic because they feel they have no hope. They stand as a witness to the choice of life to those who feel they have no other choice except to kill their un-born child. And, when the couples walk into the clinic anyway, they stand as lone mourners for the lost little ones…someone (maybe the only one) to recognize the unique-ness and dignity of that tiny person in the womb. They are the child’s surrogate family, at the bedside of the dying babies…the mourners at the grave site. They ensure that these babies don’t die alone…forgotten and un-grieved.
So, I stand convicted…and deeply grateful to those who have remained faithful to this cause…even when it must have seemed hopeless. They are truly an inspiration to me, and a reminder to me of how blessed I am to be leading this campaign. I get to meet the best people in the world! Thanks to everyone who has stepped out of their comfort zones and over-came fear, to pray at an abortion clinic for the first time…and to those who have persevered in this battle.
Speaking of those who have recently participated at the vigil for the first time; I am encouraged that there are quite a few folks that have come to pray at the abortion clinic on their church’s “day” and have found the experience so meaningful that they have continued to attend the vigil on their own! There is one man that I know of, who has gone back twice, since going the first time with his church during the first week of the campaign. Just this past Friday, he struck up a conversation with a woman on the sidewalk who shared with him her story. She said that she used to be a regular “protester” of abortion during the 1990’s…but there she was at Planned Parenthood…waiting while her daughter was having an abortion inside! He felt ill-equipped to say anything to her, and now feels badly about not saying anything.
First of all, this story shows us that NONE of us are immune to temptation and deception from the enemy! If this woman felt strongly enough to protest abortion on the sidewalk in the ’90’s…but 20 years later finds herself waiting at an abortion clinc while her own grandchild is aborted…then it can happen to any one of us! There but for the grace of God…
Secondly, we cannot take on the weight of the world when we go to the abortion clinic. If the Holy Spirit lays words on your heart and you feel led to speak to a girl..IN LOVE…by all means speak! But realize that your physical presence alone speaks volumes! Please don’t ever “beat yourself up” for saying the “wrong thing” or for not saying anything! If you would like to be properly “equipped” to be able to offer practical help to a couple in crisis…please ask your “Shift Manager” for a brochure to hold while you are there. All our Shift Managers have brochures to give to couples who are considering abortion. The brochures warn of the negative consequences of abortion and inform them (with beautiful photos) of fetal development. If you have these materials, you don’t have to worry about what to say…just let the literature speak for you. If you would like to print out a one-page document that includes a listing of every crisis-pregnancy center in Pittsburgh, with their phone numbers and hours of operation…it is posted on our website. Just click http://www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh/documents/Crisis%20Pregnancy%20Centers%20info%20sheet2012.pdf to print it and bring with you anytime you go to the vigil. If you have this document…you will be equipped to offer any abortion-bound parent the help that can save them.
Thanks for joining us in this battle!