Day 29…The Cultural District “Cleans-Up!”

Who says downtown is dirty!?  The owner of the bar next to Planned Parenthood is certainly tidy!  Take a look at this photo to see what I mean:

Bar Owner decides to power-wash his storefront

Of course he has every right to power-wash the front of his store anytime he likes.  Especially when a large group of 40 Days for Life prayer participants are gathered there!  I think this is the second time he has done this…the first time when I was there.  Anyway, shortly after this, the police were called, and our vigil participants were asked to move away from the front of his business, which they did.  It’s obvious that the business owners (the bar and the new bookstore) do not like our presence there…but Jesus commands us to LOVE our ENEMIES!!!  So, I would ask everyone who comes to our vigil to show love and respect for these two business owners.  In fact, I may start bringing cookies (or some other gesture of kindness) for them.  I am not just saying this (really!)…but I DO love them both!  Truly!  God has put SUCH an AMAZING love in my heart for all of those who hate us…I know it is not me…it is HIM loving them through me.  I don’t have to force it, it just comes out.  In fact, it suprised me the other day, when a car drove by and a young woman leaned out the window and screamed at me, “I HATE YOU!”  Before I knew it, the heartfelt words “I LOVE YOU!” had loudly escaped from my lips!  I didn’t even think about it…and it was obvious from the tone in which it was said, that I meant it!  I could tell that SHE could tell I meant it.  I saw the expression of shock on her face…and she didn’t say anything else.  Love truly is more powerful than hate.  Jesus gave us a good command.

Anyway, here are some photos from this morning:

Seamus from Catholic Men's Fellowship
Suzanne traveled almost two hours to be here!

For most of the morning, it was Seamus, Suzanne and myself holding the vigil.  There was no church signed up this morning, so I would have been by myself if this wonderful brother and sister in Christ hadn’t signed up to stand with me.

Lots of customers were going into the clinic this morning…almost all single girls.  About 10 of them took my literature…so hopefully a life will be saved.  We don’t need to find out about it…I just trust that we are making a difference.  Only one couple entered the clinic today, and the woman looked like she was pregnant.  They would not take the literature, unfortunately.

Later this morning, Elizabeth stopped.  She sometimes comes to pray, and holds the photo of her grandchild, whom she is mourning.  This child was aborted at 6 months, because of downs syndrome.

Elizabeth with her grandchild's ultrasound photo

Our regular “interviewer”, David, stopped by and interviewed Seamus.  Here is a photo of him while they were interviewing:

David interviewing Seamus

Another woman named Mary Alice came to pray.  She traveled all the way from Grove City!  When my shift was ending, the large group called “Guardians for Life of Westmoreland and Indiana Counties began to arrive, lead by Fr. Tim.  Here are some photos of them:

Soon after the Guardians for Life arrived, is when the bar owner decided to power-wash the front of his store, and the police were called.  I have a feeling that Cathy, today’s second shift manager…is not having as peaceful of a shift as I had.  If she sends in a report about her time, I will post it here.

Third Shift Manger, Barbara, took these photos and wrote the following summary of her shift today:

Eric, Katie and Mary Jane
Eric, Richard and John talking with David

Shift manager for 3 to 7 on the second day of Spring I’m bathed in sunshine and people.  It is possible to be bathed in people if you think about their person rather than just their body.   Is this an ordinary day in spring?  “Dave,” our visitor who stopped by this
evening and regularly stops by to interview 40 Days for Life volunteers, sometimes using very rough language, might enjoy defining “ordinary.”

As the shift progressed, Richard, Eric, John and Mary Jane, faithful Prayer Volunteers, joined me.   “Thank you.  God bless you,” responses from passersby outnumbered the negative responses 15 to 1.  Responding to “God bless you,” one young lady, outfitted in “goth” from head to toe, turned around smiling and joyfully responded, “Thank you.”

A man stopped to ask if we really would refuse an abortion to a 16 year old girl who had been raped.  “That’s a good question.  Many people wonder about that….”  He walked away.  Wow.  Let’s talk for at least another minute or two. I would have liked to explore that dilemma with him using an ancient equation:  1 + 1 = 3. Woman plus man (1 + 1) = (3) baby; three people.  Rape resulting in a baby is an outrage that involves 3 people.  Why dismember and discard the baby?  Why not do that to the man who was the perpetrator?  Rape does terrible things to a woman.  Dare you perpetrate another outrage on her? Abortion is an outrage to a woman’s body and person.  Each of the three people will never be the same.  The rape will remain one of their facts of life.  Irrevocably the rape made
this woman a mother.  Irrevocably, this baby is conceived because of rape.   The mother can choose to keep her baby or give the little soul to an adopting couple.  The man can repent.   Given a chance, people can move on from terrible events.

Ancient laws such as 1 + 1 = 3 govern ordinary life without our permission.   Prolifers are captivated by the extraordinary law, the double edged invitation.  “Love me.  Love your neighbor as yourself.”   Can it be true that since 1973 Americans remain beguiled by the lie of abortion?  Join us downtown.  “Can we talk?”

Barbara Lewis





2 thoughts on “Day 29…The Cultural District “Cleans-Up!”

  • March 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    You’re awesome, Barbara!! : )

    • March 23, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Today we had quite an experience infront of PP. First when we arrived with Father Tim, the owner of the gay bar decided to get a pressure and wash the wall in front of his bar. His pressure washer was leaking and spraying everyone. Good thing it was warm outside. Then the guy next door at the book store called the police on us for being in front of his store. Then the police came and told me we were all loitering because we werent moving. He said that the Catholic nun who was sitting on a chair was trespassing.He felt what we were doing was illegal. The irony is that the place we are against is Planned Parenthood and we are not allowed to stand in front of Planned parenthood. The mentality of these officers revealed to me a possible coming time of persecution.

      While talking to the other Pro Lifers, I saw a woman walking past PP and coming towards where I was standing. The H.S. prompted me and said: talk to her. I approached her and let her know that abortions take place in this building. She stopped, looked at me in the eyes and said: “I had an abortion when I was 14 years old and it was the worst experience of my life.” She went on tell about that God had revealed to her that the baby was a boy, and she never stops thinking about him. She is now about 40 years old. We told her about Rachel’s Vineyard and she was so thankful we were there! God is using us in many ways! Keep uo the good work to all!!!

      God Bless,

      Tom Venditti


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