Come and talk with us!!
As a child I found it fascinating when in history courses we would learn about those famous ancient philosophers doing their speaking, preaching, and teaching in the public squares of Greece and Rome. Back then, it struck me as such an oddity – random guys in togas just standing around in the middle of the city talking about philosophy. What?! Of course, along with learning about their individual brands of philosophy, we were taught that the reason they did this is that there was obviously no mass media of any kind in those days. The first newspaper only came about in 59 B.C. If people wanted to know what each other were thinking, they had no other choice but to go right up to each other and talk face to face – or within human shouting distance, as there were no microphones or amplification of any kind, either.
Of course, I don’t have to say that things have changed on an exponential scale with regard to the development of communication technology, and many of us “older” folk are now lamenting that face-to-face interpersonal communication is now on the fast rocket off the planet. Very skilled writers have always been able to communicate their tone along with facts and their opinions. However, I’ve found that many times it is almost impossible to communicate subtleties of tone and meaning via texting, e-mailing, or online chatting. TV, video, Skype, and FaceTime are all recent technological developments and are pretty impressive in these capacities, but even they still miss very subtle shades of meaning. And despite all their nano-pixels (I think these are just on the verge of being invented, but soon!) and Surround Sound, you still can’t reach out and shake the hand of the person on the other side of the screen. As an avid live theatre fan, I’m very aware that watching a dramatic movie on the hugest, most crystal-clear TV screen doesn’t hold a candle to sitting in one of the front rows at a professional live theatrical production, seeing the actors’ facial expressions, hearing their vocal inflections, and actually feeling the mood they are projecting. Yes, the very best and most effective way to communicate is still the ancient face-to-face, live method.
We 40 Days participants encounter many passersby on the street each day. Understandably, many folks are in a hurry and can’t stop to talk. But we also know that many can, but choose not to. Serving this past Saturday morning as Sidewalk Advocates at PP, Marian and I were interviewed by a young Pitt student for a class project. It was a very engaging, forthright, and honest exchange. To anyone who may be reading this who is not a 40 Days for Life participant: please stop and and talk to us anytime. If you’ve passed us by before, come back and talk to us. If we are praying, we can certainly take a break to chat with you. We would love to converse in good faith — to hear your thoughts and, rather like those ancient philosophers, to share ours. And to shake your hand!
Before I get started, we are in URGENT NEED of folks, or at least one person, to come to stand and pray with our shift managers during these times:
Tuesday, October 11, from 3-4 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12, from 2-3 p.m.
Can you help?? If so, please log in, sign up, and show up!!!
Jen began our day today at the vigil with the 7-9 a.m. shift. She shares:
I was blessed to spend my shift praying and catching up with Dan from St. Maria Goretti parish on this chilly but pretty Sunday morning. His amazing life story, strong faith, and commitment to the Pro-Life cause make him a wonderful vigil partner.
Dan stayed for the second shift of the vigil as faithful, joyful Sue came to take her post. She and I spent a few happy moments imagining what we can do with the building at 933 Liberty Avenue when (not if, but WHEN) God closes this Planned Parenthood.
I (Sue M.) covered 9-11 a.m. (Jen, thank you for your kind words!). It was a very quiet shift. As Jen mentioned, Dan stayed to pray with me for the full two hours – God bless him! Toward the end of my shift, Patty showed up, as she often does – God bless you, too, Patty!! The Steelers fans were beginning to come down the sidewalk in full force, along with a few brave Jets fans mixed in. We had several comments from some of them, all positive. One man did not respond to our “good morning” but did stop and carefully read each one of our signs.
Rich and Roseann came this morning with their daughter Jen to cover the 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. shift. Roseann writes:
It was a quiet day today even though we had some Steelers traffic. We had time to get in a lot of prayers. The highlight of our shift, besides the wonderful people who came to pray and witness with us, were the three Steelers fans (a father and his two sons) who came from Philly. They stopped to say a short prayer with us. The father informed us that he was a huge supporter of 40 Days for Life in Philly. All in all, a positive day.
Trish M. was on for the 1-3 p.m. shift:
3 people were with me from St. Monica – Mary and Dan and Jane. Susan from Word of God was also with me. Satan was not with us this week. A lot of foot traffic due to the game. We did a lot of praying. 🙏
On to Jim S., covering 3-5 p.m.:
The sun was warm and the Steelers won and everyone passing by was HAPPY. Many prayer warriors from St. Bernard’s today. One very pregnant woman was seeking info for ultra-sound. Mary from St. Bernard provided her with the new cards with phone numbers. Add Leah to your prayer list, as she has limited resources and zero help from family and friends. Special thanks to Johnny and Mary Ellen for taking up the slack with wife Cathy on Mission of Mercy trip to Seattle. It was also a treat to share the shift with Pat and Sue R. and their five children, who added a spark with their singing and praying and overall enthusiasm. Sorry, no pictures; camera was in Seattle.
Jeff rounded out the day for the 5-7 p.m. shift:
Quiet nite tonite. I relieved Jim S., who said he must have had two dozen folks from St. Bernard’s during his 3 to 5 shift. I had a good number of Steelers fans pass by. That’s when I remembered what the head guy from 40 Days headquarters said when he first saw our vigil on Liberty Ave. ‘What a great location you have with all this exposure to traffic and pedestrians,’ he said. I certainly feel exposed, that’s for sure. But I know that the babies killed at 933 Liberty have got my back as I remember them in prayer and fasting and faith. Faith — that this is what God wants us to do.
May God bless you all!