Ask. Seek. Knock.
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the LORD. She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you.”
-Esther C: 12,14
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth…
When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.
God is a very good and provident Father. In each of today’s liturgical readings (above), there is some mention of crying out to the Lord, and asking Him for what we need. He does NOT disappoint. If there is something He doesn’t want us to have, He will have good reason for that. But He ALWAYS provides WHAT WE NEED.
Nikki’s and my stories (below) were also moments of need… and of trusting in God and His providence for us. He DID NOT DISAPPOINT in either of our cases. And we are just little, simple children to Him. And yet—we are children who are greatly treasured by Him who made us. All thanks and praise to Him!
An important word for all those who may be struggling with an unintended pregnancy: God does the same for you. If you ask Him for help in your time of need, HE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT. What could you possibly ask Him for? You can simply place yourself in His presence, and humbly ask for His help. He is a LOVING Father… who will be with you.
Shift Manager Reports:
God really does have a great sense of humor!!! I blogged yesterday about our need to “SUFFER”…and I think He called me on it this morning! I arrived in the parking garage at 6:45am this morning, all ready for my 7-9 shift. Or so I thought. When I went to get out of the car, I turned to grab my coat…and it wasn’t there! Yes…I forgot my coat. It was 20 degrees and I had a two hour shift. At 7am, where would I get a coat? This was sure going to be a test to see if I could “walk the walk”, after writing about our need to suffer! Haha! But, luckily, our wonderful and faithful Diane was already there, setting up the sidewalk vigil materials…and she gave me a coat for the homeless to wear! She saved me!!! But, it wasn’t as warm as my coat is…so I guess I got the opportunity to suffer a LITTLE. And I didn’t have my gloves either, so I borrowed a pair of those also…much too small for my hands…but I made it work.
It was very peaceful on the sidewalk with the music playing. Marian came and stood with me until she had to go work. I was alone for a bit until Peggy came, and we prayed a rosary together and chatted. I was grateful for her company.
I placed one of the new signs that Pat made right above the fetal model display. It is the one with the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that says, “To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.” Both Marian and Peg commented that it was a perfect place for it. It amazes me how many people look at the fetal models! In fact, a mother and young child walked by…and I saw the mother actually shield her child’s eyes so she wouldn’t see the fetal models! Strange.
Bill came along as it was time for my shift to end. I was very happy to see my replacement Shift Manager Johnny, arrive right on time at 9am!
I told Johnny that when someone arrives to replace the shift manager, they are always greeted so happily…it must be like walking into “Cheers” (for those who are old enough to remember the show). Everyone knows your name, and they’re always glad you came!
Your sister in Christ,
From Johnny (9-11)
Peg stayed for 20 minutes before she had to catch a bus and we said most of a Rosary. Around 9:30, Julie came as the sole representative from the Springdale Bible Club, and stayed through the shift and planned to leave @11:30. It so happens that her parents were good friends with the Shantz’s in the Lincoln Ave. area. (Mary Ellen was also born and raised in that neighborhood!); so we reminisced a lot for the 1 and 1/2 hours while we were trying to keep warm. Another lady from St. Regina in Clairton showed up around 10: 30 and Marilyn and a friend were there @ 11:00 sharp.
From Charlotte (11-1)
Very little activity on the 11-1 shift. What made an impression on me yesterday was Mary. Mary came and she said it was her first time there. Mary was quiet and right away we prayed a rosary together. Not knowing she wasn’t permitted, (it was her first time), she went in the circle. It kind of surprised me. I had to explain what we are to do and how not to get yourself in trouble. It made an impression on me as to how important the shift manager is. Without us. People may not be okay who volunteer. Mary for sure would have been in trouble. It made an awareness as to how important it is for us to be there, be on time, etc. How not to leave if for someone unforseen reason a shift manager is not able to get there. God wants us to be steward’s for one another. I have not been involved physically for a couple of years, but you can clearly see how much of a family we all are. I always leave Pittsburgh feeling and knowing I am loved. Thank you shift managers for your commitment! God bless you in all your efforts!
From Lisa (me):
I had some concerns when I saw Nikki’s email on Wednesday, asking for people to come and pray with us Shift Managers who would be alone. But why would I worry, when many wonderful people have always answered this call? And God provided. I was blessed with the presence of Regina, Mary, Sue, and Francesca. Thank you, ladies, and thank You, Lord!!
And right as I was thinking that Sue would be alone with no other “on-duty” Shift Manager, who showed up at that minute but Helen- the Shift Manager- and Bill, a kind soul who came to pray with her!
I asked the Lord for His help, and He provided. And what a beautiful sunny afternoon! It was about 31 degrees, and compared with last week, I was thrilled!
From Helen (3-5)
When I got there Sue McGrath and Lisa were there. Also, Bill Depner was on the other side of the building.
He came at that hour because he saw no one on the schedule. God love him. He was there for my hours, except when he went over to Brueggers for coffee. He came back at 5:00, and he planned to stay until someone showed up or until the 7:00 pickup.
I was wrapped in my long johns, two more sweaters, a warm coat, scarf, hat & gloves and fur-lined boots.
Somebody left a hand warmer on the box, so I used that, too.
Sue and I prayed the ecumenical Stations of the Cross. I’ll check them out for our prayers on Good Friday.
(Today I learned that Pope John Paul II fashioned 14 stations, all based on Scripture, so his are a bit different from St. Alphonsus, the ones we grew up with.)
Lots of students from downtown schools. I didn’t know there are at least three schools downtown, but after I had that info, I could see the difference. Since I must have been invisible, I could look but no one looked back at me. Did you notice that almost all the women carry TWO bags? I wondered what all that stuff could be, and do they work in a place where they cannot leave a sweater or shoes overnight?
At one point a lively group of about ten boys and girls came along, and three of the boys went into PP.
The other kids hung around and fooled around outside until the boys came out with an annoyed-looking woman behind them.
One young woman exited with the telltale brown bag, and two sets of two girls went in. Women that I’d say were employees came out in dribs and drabs.
The signs ARE NOTICED by many passers-by, mostly men. They don’t stop, but some of them DO slow their pace.
My rosary stayed in my pocket with the hand warmer. I just counted Hail Marys over and over.
A highlight of the afternoon was when a bus driver pulling out on the other side of the street opened his window, stuck out his arm and gave me a big, swinging thumbs up. That was super. One man just asked, “How’s it goin’?” That, too, was worth the day’s vigil.
Twice while I was there, the CHIPPEWA bus waiting line came all the way back to my spot. A lady in the line answered my query by saying it was the only way these people would get a seat. She said if they got on further down the street, they’d have to stand.
There were many moms who must have collected their little ones from daycare. It was pleasant to see a dad pushing a high cart with a beautifully cuddled bundle. I felt sad when one little fellow walked along after a man who never looked at him, and never responded to him as he spoke. As they went farther up the street, the little boy had to run to keep up, and at one point he lagged several yards behind the man, but the man never slowed his pace. There must be many little ones who don’t get a response.
I had no opportunities for conversation, no takers for information, but those who looked knew we were there. We know our prayers are not fruitless. I knew (and this is important) that as I stood there, I was surrounded by angels–mine and those of every person who passed. That knowledge made it all worth the adventure of it all.
From Rick:God is always full of surprises! I was expecting a quiet night outside of Planned Parenthood this evening. About two minutes after I started praying, a man stopped and asked me how he could help. He opened up his wallet and wanted to give me one or a couple of twenties. I think I must have looked homeless or something, Here, I thought everyone wore two tossle caps. So many people passing by had comments, some were very positive and others I am not able to repeat. One man was so excited to see us that he asked to take our picture. I would like to especially thank Francis, of St. Stanislaus parish, for his faithful witness on behalf of unborn children and for pregnant women in need. Thanks also to Diane and Tom for their dedication to this ministry and for their faithfulness. May God continue to bless the 40 Days for Life campaigns throughout the world. Keep the faith. If God is with us, who can be against us?Rick