Sometimes, while praying at Planned Parenthood, we can find ourselves feeling like what we do there does not matter…. But today, even though it was just an ordinary Thursday, was a day filled with little vignettes of hope.
Shift Manager Marilyn had this to share:
Early during the second shift today we met Michael. He stopped as he was walking by to watch us pray. I asked him if he would like to join us and he happily said yes. When we explained that Planned Parenthood performed abortions, he told us about his sister. She was pregnant and was told to have an abortion by several people. Thankfully, she chose life. He proudly showed us his nephew’s baby photo on his cell phone. Michael, who has overcome some serious issues of his own, says the baby is the best thing that has ever happened. Right when he was talking to us, a woman in a vehicle passing by yelled obscenities at us. Normally this would have bothered me, but not today!
Later in the shift Tasha and Marnitta came by, friends who are both pregnant due this summer. Marnitta shared with us that she was pressured to have an abortion. She said no! Praise the Lord. They proudly wanted to show their babies in the photo! They are joined by Beth Ann and Beth, prayers from St. Alexis and St. Alphonsus.
What an encouraging start to the campaign. While it was a cold Valentine’s Day, our hearts were warmed by these young people.
Lisa, another Shift Manager, had this to share:
It was a pretty low-key day, and yet, some things happened that made me realize that what we are doing really matters. We had several folks who said angry comments, gave angry looks, or engaged us in absurd discussions (one man did so and then told us that WE needed to think logically… but in reality it was the opposite).
But amidst all this, we were given a “Thank you!”, some smiles (some from unexpected passersby– yes, sometimes I guess I stereotype), and one man (a regular passerby- I see him often), who said, “God bless you! Thank you for praying for our children.”
OUR children. I loved that. And they ARE ours. We are ALL responsible for one another in this world. And when we reach out in love and prayer at the vigil, we are doing so for ALL those in need of help, in any number of Planned Parenthood-related situations… not only abortion. So we can be assured of the worthiness of our task. It matters. And we can be filled with hope.
Shift Manager Pat shared these photos:
And Pat also had this story to share:
Rarely do I use the park-n-ride at Wilkinsburg, but because I would be taking the 3-5 shift today, I thought it might make getting home a little quicker than if I took my normal bus. After parking I had to walk quickly to the bus stop because the one I was taking had just pulled up. As I passed the four or five people waiting for a different bus, I noticed that one of them, a rather tall guy, was wearing a black knit hat with something written on the front of it. I had to get closer to read it, but when I did I smiled. It was a 40 Days for Life hat. As I walked by him I said, “Nice hat.” He smiled back and gave me a “thumbs-up” sign. I then let him know that I had the same one back in my office. He answered back, “I’ll see you out there!” As a priest once said to me, “Sometimes, God winks at us.”
While my shift was not much different than others I’ve had, something a little different happened to me. Although there were other employees who had come out of PP before her, there was something about seeing one woman in particular leave the building that struck me. I had seen her before. She’s somewhat younger and I believe that she’s some sort of higher-level administrator. After a few seconds passed and she began to cross the street, I was still trying to figure out what it was that gave me this different feeling. While she was still crossing, I found that I suddenly had the urge to simply pray for her. The first thing that came into my mind was to pray a “Hail Mary” for her, which I did. I then added a few others even after she had walked out of sight. Afterwards, as I was thinking about all of this, it occurred to me that I almost never do that. That is, pray for the employees of PP. Why? I still don’t have a good answer. A little later the two prayer volunteers and I offered a rosary for the conversion of all of the employees of the PP on Liberty Ave.
I think if we can all remember, as we see these employees go in or out of the building, to offer prayers for specifically for their conversion, we might soon see some fruit come of our prayers. And even if we don’t, we know that no prayer is ever “wasted.”
Thank you to all our Shift Managers who served the Lord today, by serving His people in this way. We can continue to rust in the Lord and have HOPE, even when things seem bleak. The Lord is ALWAYS in charge, and ALWAYS on the throne.