Folk singer David Wilcox performs a song called, “Start With the Ending.” The song is about how we sometimes need to look to the purpose of something, or its END GOAL, in order to make sense of all the things which lead up to it. For example, he tells a story in the song about how wonderful a person’s life is by starting with the importance at the END of his life… and as the story goes on, we see the significance and importance of all the other earlier events that led up to the end.
Now to explain this in terms of Scripture and helping women on the sidewalk. The psalm response for today was the above passage: “With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.” That, my friends, seems to be a good and happy ending. But what about those post-abortive women who are trapped in their own shame? They may not be living this “ending” yet.
In one translation, the first few verses of this same psalm above (Psalm 130) read:
Out of the depths I call to you, LORD; Lord, hear my cry!
May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
Some women are truly “calling out from the depths.” They need to know that they are loved. They may have guilt. But that guilt is something which could actually bring them to the Lord. Guilt tells us that we have done something bad. SHAME, on the other hand, tells us that we ARE bad. Big difference. The Lord never wants us to have shame. He only wants us to turn to HIM. He ALREADY KNOWS our sins anyway. He only wants us to recognize our need for HIM and His healing.
Today’s saint is Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), who gives us these words to guide us toward healing:
“This Beloved of ours is merciful and good. Besides, he so deeply longs for our love that he keeps calling us to come closer…. God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.”
― Teresa of Ávila, Interior Castle
Our God is amazing. The mercies He gives us are new EVERY MORNING. And in seeing this, we realize WHY we go through some of our suffering… so we can reach out to Him. “Starting with the ending” can help us to see that.
Shift Manager Reports:
It was sunny and chilly this morning…after sunrise. My two loyal co-sidewalk Warriors were there…Michelle and Dick. We were joined shortly by Bill H. and Marion. We prayed together…said rosaries…blessed the building. Before we knew it, the shift was done and Ginny had arrived. Only one negative..a nicely dressed young woman made called Dick “a piece of garbage.” One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure!
There were two different groups there for the second shift this morning. There were 11 people from Saint Teresa’s. They prayed five decades of the rosary, and we had no problems. It was a beautiful time. After that there was a group from Saint Thomas a Becket parish; there were six of them, and they prayed the rosary. Then came Trinity Lutheran, and they were there when I left. A wonderful day.
Thank you to all who came to pray today, members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Margery, Tamara and Linda, several people on their lunch hour, including Natalie and Chris and my friends, Beth Ann and Cheryl. Great news today! We were able to give the resource pamphlet to a woman and talk to her before she went inside. So glad that door is often locked! We escorted her to Catholic Charities for a pregnancy test. Pray for “K”. Thank you God for using this wonderful ministry to save mommas and babies!
From Lisa (that’s me):
I felt that it was a very “active” shift today. By that I mean that there were lots of conversations and encounters with people. I like that. One teenage boy chatted for a little while with Shift Manager Bill and myself. It was a challenging conversation, partially because the boy was a little too immature to see the truth. But that’s okay. I think he definitely walked away with some things to think about, especially regarding God.
A man who is a member of a local Catholic parish stopped by and chatted with me. He didn’t like the display of fetal models. He felt that it wasn’t necessary… that people already know what fetal development is like through ultrasounds. Of course, I disagreed, because I am continually seeing adults marvel at those models. However, I just realized now that he can probably thank his Catholic upbringing for having TAUGHT HIM the truth of fetal development– SOMEWHERE along the line, even if he doesn’t realize that his knowledge may have come from there. That education is “money in the bank.” But all people have NOT been so educated, and we must not take such knowledge for granted. Besides, the fetal models are beautiful reminders to ALL of us of the reality of the HUMANITY of the preborn.
Another man stopped to chat about the fact that Magee Hospital does abortions, and he was interested in going there to pray as well. He was interested in 40 Days for Life too, so I gave him some information about who we are. He was also interested in checking out the stats of how many babies’ lives have been saved in Pittsburgh and also around the world through 40 Days for Life. It’s always inspiring to see the numbers from the national website! That helps us to see the big picture.
One last thing I would like to mention in humility: I believe that it is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE that we, as pro-lifers and as Christians, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be the ones who are calm and kind. I know that some circumstances are more tricky than others, especially when our own personal safety may be threatened, and proper words and actions must be discerned at those moments of difficulty. But as a general rule, calmness and kindness (whenever possible) must be our constant stance and demeanor. Just my two cents. I’ve seen that it matters a LOT.
Thanks to the dear ladies from Trinity Lutheran Evangelical church- Margie, Tammy, and Linda, for being there with me today. You are all beautiful and prayerful women! Thank you!
We were blessed this afternoon to have the folks from Saint Bernadette join our prayer crusade. Father Tony prays a pretty incredible rosary! Dee and Winnie joined in, and we were blessed by Dominic, a college student who had just run into 40 Days for Life on the sidewalk yesterday!! Sweet Mimi rounded out our prayer warriors, as we appreciated the windy sunny fall weather in Pittsburgh.
The 5-7 PM shift on Thursday (10/15) was grace-filled and faith-filled. I would like to especially thank Peg, Ed, and Jim from St. Bernadette parish in Monroeville for their faithful prayer and witness, and for praying the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet for an end to abortion, a greater respect for life, and for women in need.Tiffany stopped to tell us that one of her friends asked her to drive her to Planned Parenthood to have an abortion, but she refused to take her there because of the 4 beautiful and talented children that God has blessed her with, and because her mother read a a poem when she was 12 years old about abortion from an unborn child’s perspective. Tiffany is obviously a very good friend to others because she cares about their welfare and the welfare of unborn children. She would like to share this prayer with others so everyone can see abortion from the unborn child’s perspective. May we always be thankful for the great hope we have in our Savior, Jesus. God Bless!Rick
Let us be the Lord’s presence there on the sidewalk, each day that we are able. Countless souls are in need of the Lord working through US.
As always, you can scroll down to see if there have been any additional stories or photos added to previous days! God bless you.