I recently heard about an amazing teenager, Rachel Scott…she was the first victim in the Columbine tragedy. Her life and story are beautiful as you can tell from a theory that she wrote down for a school assignment:
She says “I have this theory, that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, that it will start a chain reaction of the same”
People will never know how far a little kindness can go…You may start your own chain reaction of compassion.
That’s what the many facets of the Pro-Life movement all come down to…COMPASSION. Everyone who is participating in 40 Days for Life is certainly going out of their way to show compassion. Maybe your little kindness of witnessing on the sidewalk has unknowingly directed a woman on to the next link in the chain reaction of compassion…to a Pregnancy Resource Center and into their system of Compassionate Care. The resources on our yellow cards for material needs and housing….these are all links in the chain reaction of compassion. There is compassion for abortion workers. The Pro-Life movement is a really, really long chain reaction of compassion!!
The FALSE compassion of abortion is destructive and a BREAK in the chain reaction of compassion. But the Pro-Life movement also has links of compassion for Post-abortive women and men.
Help can be found at 1-800-5WE-CARE
Today, I was lucky to be on the sidewalk with Fr. Brennan and Helen from St. Robert Bellamine…and of course, my other half Dick. Fr. Brennan and I have been on the sidewalk together many times and it always lifts my spirits, his warm conversation and gentle way. Today, some of my witnessing took the form of spiritual conversation with Helen and Fr. Brennan and I began to think, as a shift manager, the different ways people witness on the sidewalk…quiet prayer alone, group prayers together, signs-yes and no, walking, talking together, handing out literature…but each one is a presence. Does God have a preference? I don’t think so. God made us each different. “His love for us is impartial, but His pursuit of us is personal” (Proverbs 31 Ministries) He knows we will each approach the sidewalk differently…but He is glad we are there. Charlene
A loving group from St. Robert Bellarmine parish endured the cold as they joined me on the sidewalk, along with Ed, sidewalk counselor, who comes every Tuesday. Much of our time was spent praying and offering resources to pp patrons and passersby. Some accepted. The St. Robert B group wore the provided signs. Also, passerby Robert, who stops by occassionally did so today.
It was probably my coldest shift this campaign. One layer of socks was not enough. I needed toe warmers and we did break out hand warmers. Some of us took a quick break to thaw out at Catholic Charities.
I was concerned that I would be traveling alone with Jodi, a first timer from our church, St Joes. But then Patti and Denny said they could come and drive us down. And Sandi’s family was healthy enough so she could join with us too. On the way down, we stopped at the Catholic Charities Welcome Center to drop off food donations collected from St. Joes as an almsgiving opportunity.
Kathy filled in today for Beth who is fighting for Life in Harrisburg. We were blessed that she took time to pray a Psalm with us before leaving. Sandi led us in praying the litany on the back of the beautiful baby sign. Many other prayers including Rosaries and the Divine Mercy were prayed today. Beth came again today to pray before and after attending Mass. It was good to see her and Suzanne on my shift again! Lovely ladies and great prayer warriors!
Regulars Bill and Bob stopped by. Ken from OL of Guadelupe came by as well and got to work praying the Rosary. He is from our neck of the woods. Several others heard the call and came to stand with Nikki so that she would not be alone from 1-2.
Before my shift was over, a man stopped asking for assistance. Sandi took him to Tony’s for food. Soon afterwards a couple came out of PP. They didn’t have money for anything apparently. She is pregnant. They took resources that we offered but said they “had it all”. They took my offer to pay for their lunch at Tony’s. Please pray for them to find jobs, good housing, to stay off of drugs,….so that they can have a stable life and raise this baby. Their other children have been taken from them. Please pray that they do not abort this child.
Here are some of the ways we made a difference today:
Prayed at least 4 Rosaries
Prayed 1 Divine Mercy
Offered up Scripture Prayers
Offered up other Prayers
Conversation with someone leaving PP
Provided pregnancy resources to someone in need
Listened to those who stopped by to share their story
Directed someone to other places to go besides PP
Directed the poor/needy to a location for help
Endured the Cold and Snow
Seven people responded to Tim’s email saying that I needed company for the first hour of my shift today from 1 to 2! I feel loved! Thanks to everyone who came out to pray with me!
Faithful Joe, lovely Gwen and Colleen from Saint Winifred, Vince from Saint Sebastian, Beth from the Latin mass at Saint Boniface, And Margorie from Saint Richard’s. There was a lot of prayer happening on the sidewalk today, and as many prayers were prayed we had as many varieties of weather to go along with them! I think it was the strangest weather that I have ever stood in. It went from almost a blizzard and strong wind one minute to blue skies and sunshine and total calm the next! It was beautiful actually seeing the snow falling. At the end of my first hour, just as the sun was coming out, Kim and her lovely crew from Saint Ann in Waynesburg arrived. They prayed with me For the last hour of my shift.
It was such a joy to be surrounded by so many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ! 40 days for life is truly God’s gift to us during these dark times! It is like a hug from him! We had quite a few positive comments and no negative ones that I can remember. Shift manager Mike arrived right on time for his 3 to 5 shift and I handed the torch over to him. Thank you everyone who came out today!
The weather was very interesting today. The sun would come out and the wind would die down for awhile
and then the sun would disappear and it would snow and the wind would blow like crazy. It would keep fluctuating
like that every half hour or so. I truly appreciated the fine ladies from Waynesburg, I think they from St. Ann’s parish.
They were there from 1:00 to 5:00pm and prayed continuously. What an inspiration to me and anyone who witnessed their love and devotion to the one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!! I went in the bookstore where Governor Wolfe reportedly ventured into on Monday and the owner told me he did not recognize the Governor as being in his store that day. Perhaps the Governor entered the store when the owner was in the back room and left before the owner came out of the back room. Or perhaps the owner just does not have a good idea of what Wolfe looks like. Who knows!?!
Manning the 5-7 shift this evening was quiet and peaceful and Johanna and I took advantage of this and prayed a lot. There were several “suits” going in after 5. It must have been a meeting night.
Tonight was quite different than last week when I did experience several confrontations and I have prayed a lot this past week for those people who are confrontational with us.
Why didn’t I say this……do this…
Confrontation – I do not like it and often I do not handle it well. Sure, after the fact I think “Why didn’t I say this…do this. When I am on the sidewalk I smile and say hello and the majority of people do smile back, say hello.
So I spent a lot of time this past week praying for them knowing that God does not love them any more or any less than me. I prayed that they come to the realization of why they are so angry. Is it their own participation in an abortion? I prayed that they realize as in Isiah 65:17 “The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind” by our Lord. I prayed that if their memories are filled with past hurts and they are struggling to forgive themselves God will heal the memories of the wrongs we have done when we have a humble and contrite heart.
God does not hold our failures in his mind. He sees everything through the lens of mercy.