When I was just beginning my walk as a Christian, I once heard a pastor say, “If a law were passed today making it a crime to be a Christian…would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
That question really made me think…and it stuck with me. I thought about that question, and at that time…I had to answer, “no”…there would not have been enough evidence to convict me. I would have been safe! Although I was going to church every Sunday, when I got home I was living the same life I had always led. I liked entertainment…television, movies, going out to eat, socializing with my old friends from my youth, drinking and eating too much, accumulating material items. I rarely thought about or spoke of God outside of church.
How about you? If being a Christian was made a crime…would you be safe? If you have participated in 40 Days for Life, you probably wouldn’t be.
It occurred to me today that our witness on the sidewalk “sets us apart” from the “regular” people who are walking by. It makes us “different“. By our very presence we are proclaiming to the world that we are Christians! And not just the kind of Christians who warm the pews each Sunday, and then go back to be like everyone else from Monday through Saturday. No…we are different. We are truly the salt that is healing the festering wound of abortion in our city. We are truly the light shining from the lampstand to those who are stumbling in the dark. People need to see that we care and that we love….God first…and also our brothers, sisters and neighbors.
I am so thankful for all of you for being “different” and allowing yourself to be “set apart” by God! Thank you for the witness you provide! We never know how many hearts are touched, minds changed and souls saved (not to mentions lives saved! by our presence there! Keep up the great work! 10 more days to go!!!
Read on for reports from today’s vigil:
Rev. John Patterson managed the vigil this morning from 7-10am. It was very rainy this morning…so after he dries off and sends in a report…it will be posted here. The dedicated and selfless pastor from St. John United Evangelical Protestant Church (Burry’s Church) was there praying with him. Thank you Pastor Win! Rev. John wrote:
The clinic didn’t seem to be open for abortions during my shift, Very little traffic. My wife Carol was with me as well as Pastor Win Groseclose of St. John’s Evan & Prot. Church. Chelo of St. Regis came at about 9:00 or so. Mary Alice of St James Sewickley also came for about 45 minutes. We all prayed well.
I prayed for God to really arrest the hearts of one or two of those employed in PP so that they will quit their work.
Cathy managed the vigil from 10am-1pm and it was her church, St. Juan Diego in Sharpsburg, that was scheduled to provide the witness. When she sends in a report or photos, they will be posted here:
When I (Nikki) arrived for my shift today, it was just Cathy and Sharon on the sidewalk:
Soon, Mary from St. Juan Diego arrived. We prayed for most of two hours. During that time, the sun was shining (sorry Rev. John!) and it was just beautiful! We had many positive comments from passersby (only one negative comment that I can remember)…and it was a peaceful, wonderful time of prayer! The clinic was not busy at all. We saw mostly employees going in and out. Hardly any clients at all.
At 3pm members from St. Paul Cathedral and St. Regis in Oakland began arriving for their scheduled 3-7pm shift. Fr. Michael and Fr. Dan arrived, along with many other members…including Fr. Michaels mom (pictured in the blue coat):
The three hours passed so quickly…I couldn’t believe it was over when I saw my replacement shift managers, Barbara and Richard arrive! It was time to go. Barbara wrote:
Our usually frosty and dark evening shift was warm and sunny. The sidewalk thronged with parishioners and two priests from St. Paul Cathedral and St. Regis. Passersby, whom we have come to recognize, waved or said hello. Students crowded by bumping into each other and laughing. Parents with a toddler or two in tow, smiled and hurried by. Planned Parenthood staff, looking tired and looking away, came outside into the warmth.
The sidewalk rang with the facts of life as we prayed. God calls us forth into freedom. He saves us because he loves us. The other fact of life, human reluctance, was evident too. “Later. I’m busy.” I don’t mind the cold, windy, rainy. It shows that this matters to me. Day 29 of Pittsburgh’s 40 Days for life. So many people have worked together to keep our vigil intact. Their fortitude humbles and challenges me. Standing vigil and praying…isn’t that what Carmelites do?
Barbara Lewis, Shift Manager
Our own wonderful Diane, who delivers all the vigil signs and fetal models each day…and belongs to St. Paul Cathedral, took these photos from this evening: