Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.
But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
Oh my. This passage from Jeremiah tells us a lot about the pridefulness of the human heart, doesn’t it?
Imagine it: God Himself stands before you, and tells you to listen to His voice, and walk in the way of His commands….
And you say…. “Mmm, nah. I’m good.”
Or even worse…. “Get the @&%$ away from me!”
God deserves to hear an answer to this question: WHY? Why would we– or why DO we– say such things to Him?
The reason I bring all this up is not ONLY because this is a very common human response…. but because this is what we see on the sidewalk all the time.
So often, abortion-minded women do NOT want to hear the voice of reason, the voice of help…. ultimately, the voice of GOD. Many have hardened their hearts. Let us pray that God will SOFTEN those hearts so that they will be more open and receptive to hearing the voice of…. LOVE.
Shift Manager Reports
This morning was chilly but peaceful. It was great to see Diane as she was setting up, and always my faithful sidewalk buddy Peggy! I was pleasantly surprised to see Beth from my new parish, Saint John the 23rd. She wasn’t signed up but saw Donna’s email saying that we needed people from 7 to 9, so she came. There were three of us for our shift.
I immediately pulled the roses apart that I had brought, and scattered the petals on the sidewalk. They actually look very beautiful and colorful that way, and I think it is more appropriate, since they represent the beautiful bodies of babies which are torn apart.
As I was kneeling in prayer at the beginning of my shift, I saw a little boy, probably about three years old, holding his mother’s hand, and he was gingerly tiptoeing around the rose petals, trying not to step on them. It was so sweet!
One man walking through growled about us throwing trash on the sidewalk, and I made a comment that it was appropriate that he thinks roses are trash. That just as some people think beautiful unborn babies are trash, some people think beautiful roses are trash.
We prayed for the first hour, and the second hour offered resources to those going in to Planned Parenthood. I had some interaction with a young woman who stopped to smoke inside the circle before going in. She was making small talk with me, but I could sense that she was angry, but she was trying not to let it show. She was pretending to be very casual about it. After some time of making small talk with each other, I asked her if she was there for an abortion, to which she replied, “Yes.” She had already refused the resources and help that I had offered her, so I told her of the harm that would come to her, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, if she were to get an abortion. She replied that she wished somebody had aborted her. I told her how much God loves her and how when we get away from him and do not live according to the way he tells us, that we get ourselves into painful situations, but I told her that she is young and that he could make beauty out of her life. She said to me, “I may decide to have a kid someday.“ Without thinking, the words just came out of my mouth, “You already have one, and he already has a beating heart and little perfectly formed fingers and toes.” I think those words went directly through her hard exterior shell; I think they pierced her heart. That was the end of our conversation and she went inside. I prayed for her and her baby and will continue.
When we arrived, Katie was already there, and Chuck and I were joined by Meredith. I think the only minor negative things were one insult and one individual using the worst profanity they could think of.
I have struck up a casual acquaintance with the Coca Cola Driver who delivers to PP. Last week, as he finished his unloading, he asked me if he could show me a pic, and it happened to be a pic of his little 4 week old daughter. She was unplanned, but has become such a blessing to them. Today I saw him again, but he was delivering to someone else…not PP. I asked him if the next time he went inside the PP building if he would offer up a prayer from the inside of the building for God to speak to all the staff about stopping abortions. He was flabbergasted! He could not believe they were killing babies in there…he thought abortions were illegal in PA.
WOW … is the general public not aware??? He assured me he would be praying from the inside of the building for the abortions to stop.
A young lady came out who had taken her friend in for an abortion. The abortion was being performed as she was talking to me. She said she had 2 children of her own and did not believe in abortion. She joined me in prayer for her friend and the baby. It was so sad. I gave her our resources for after abortion and told her to make sure she gave them to her friend.
Nikki had met a woman during her shift prior to our shift, who was going in for an abortion. She had an opportunity to talk with her for a while before she went in. The lady came out during my shift and leaned up against the window in front of the building where I was standing…and I recognized her from Nikki’s description. She had an ultrasound pic in her hand, and I asked her if that was her baby. She said it was and she didn’t know why they gave her the pic. I asked if I could see it and she handed it to me. I told her how precious it was and the baby was a gift from God and a miracle of life. She said she was an addict and couldn’t bring a baby into the world as an addict. I told her of a similar story of a friend of mine in a similar situation, who had her baby and how God had healed the baby. She was willing to talk to me and to listen to everything I had to say. I begged her to keep the baby, offered her resources to help her during her pregnancy and after the birth, talked about adoption. She said she understood everything I was saying but she was going to have the abortion. I asked her if I could pray with her and she said yes. I prayed for God’s blessing over her life and for God to convince her to keep the baby and to protect the baby as he went into the arms of Jesus. I didn’t realize it, but I still had the ultrasound pic in my hand. She asked me if she could have the baby’s pic back. As she left to go back into the building, I just kept praying that she would look at the pic and not go through with it.
A young man came out and walked past me, and I asked him if his friend was having an abortion. He said no and kept walking … but she was. When he came back up the street to go back in the building I offered him the resources for after abortion help. I told him that she will need help that he can’t provide to her and that those resources would give her information and resources that will help her during the difficult times.
We are thanking God for the opportunity to pray and witness. We can’t look at the losses, because we just have to be obedient to what the Lord tells us, because the battle belongs to the Lord, not to us!
Lisa K. (11-1):
It was a sad, busy, and prayerful shift. I am forever thankful for the dear people who join us in prayer every day. Sandy (from St. James in Sewickley) and I prayed together for much of the time, while Katie and Elsie handed out materials and reached out to many people entering PP.
Just like last week, one thing that struck me today was the ANGER of some of these women. One woman in particular got so angry with Elsie, as Elsie simply talked to her and offered her resources where she could get help. It so saddens me that these women are so hurt, and don’t know what to do with that. If only they knew that we truly want to help them, and even more importantly, that they are LOVED by God and are NOT ALONE in their struggles.
On the positive side, there were several men who passed by, independently of each other, who thanked us or said, “God bless you” as they passed. One priest stopped by as well, to thank us for what we were doing. And one of my favorite things I heard today was, as two young men passed by, one of them said to the other, “I just don’t understand why people want to kill their kids.” It gave me hope that some people DO see, and they DO know, and they DO care.
Quiet afternoon. Rain stayed away. How lovely it is when a passer-by says “Thank you” or “God bless you.” A young man stopped to look at the fetal models. I asked him if he’d like a little one of them for himself. He smiled broadly and thanked me.
We apologize to Helen for not being able to post all of her photos, due to some technical difficulties.
Nothing exciting tonight, just some good quiet time for prayer and quiet witnessing for life with St. Benedict’s.
May we trust in the power and love of our God
as we continue to pray and sacrifice for families in need!!