40 Days for Life
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Who needs help on that sidewalk?
1. Women and men in crisis.
2. The preborn children in danger.
3. The abortion workers.
4. Those of us who pray on the sidewalk.
5. The passersby.
So, EVERYONE on Liberty Avenue, at any given time, is in need of help. How can I say this with such certainty? Because we are all human. And we all have needs. As we pray on the sidewalk each of these 40 days, let us consider: HOW does this person need my help– or ultimately, God’s help– right now? And then if we can pray for them, let us pray. If we can do more, let us do more. But let it NEVER be said that when someone is in need, that God (possibly through someone else) didn’t answer or help.
Shift Manager Reports:
Thank the Lord for sunshine and blue skies, and for faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying and sacrificing for an end to abortion! Faithful Thao was praying on her knees this morning for the first hour, along with Peggy and me. Thao is sick but is still coming out in the cold. Please pray for her healing as well as for her other intentions which she has asked us to pray for.
As we were all three on our knees praying, a young confused-looking couple headed towards the door. We offered them information, which they refused, but they walked past and did not go in. I began to pray for them and offered up the pain in my knees for them and their child. They eventually did come back about half an hour later. I was still on my knees, and I told them that I was continuing to pray for them specifically and the man told me to keep praying. They walked by a second time, but eventually they did come back and they went in. That baby was prayed for and had an advocate, and I believe that when he or she is taken in the arms of the angel to heaven, he or she will be thankful that we were there for them.
Unfortunately, it was a very busy abortion morning. At least eight couples that we saw went in. I felt led to stay on my knees for most of my shift. Hearts seem very hard, but we do not know of all of those who never even show up for their appointments because of our prayers and witness. We only see those who stubbornly persist on the path to destroy themselves and their child. It is discouraging, but I have faith that God is using us for good. Thanks to Carissa for coming to be a Sidewalk Advocate and to Judy and her faithful crew from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene for coming at nine for their shift.
It was good to be with Meredith, Chuck, and Carol from Lincoln Place Nazarene. We were joined by Bill for a while. We appreciated the sunshine today, even though it didn’t reach Liberty Avenue LOL, and we were thankful we did not have a repeat of last week’s wind. There was a fair amount of people going in and coming out of PP. Most of them were cold and resistant to any conversation/information/literature. There was a lady with a young child, possibly 18 months, who went in and waited for her husband/boyfriend to come in. I was able to intercept him before he went in and he was willing to listen for a short while.… until the lady inside called him and instructed him to come in. He did reveal that neither one of them wanted the abortion, but they could not financially afford another baby. They had the little one they brought with them today, and he said he also had one or two of his own and she had a couple of her own. We tried desperately to convince him, but his partner would not permit him to speak with us any longer. Lord, have mercy on this young family that has been deluded to kill their baby.
Thank you to those who came to pray today. It is always so important. Families’ lives were totally broken inside that building today. Generations severed. Futures lost. And this kind of destruction happens “in the moment.” If only more conversations could be had with those couples before they go inside. And when presented with the opportunity to have such a discussion, we MUST hear them out. We MUST listen with an empathetic and compassionate heart. Many of these people either do not know what else to do– or they don’t even REALIZE the gravity of what is taking place. May we always listen with love.
Vince said the weather was so lovely, it was almost like spring. Mary Catherine brought Ann and the four of them made a fine parish team. Mary Jean always has a happy hello for everyone.
We prayed the Joyful Mysteries with the beautiful LIFE rosary together, and another group rosary rang in the concrete canyons of downtown Pittsburgh.
Only one really crude remark was spat at us. Mostly the “waiting for the bus” crowd and the “little ones going home from daycare” were the major sidewalk traffic.
Several ladies from the 5:00-7:00 shift arrived in time to pray with us. That was a real bonus.
Barb K. and I were fortunate enough to arrive early and spend a little prayer time with Anita and the previous shift group. We were blessed to be joined by Judi D., then Soad V. and Carolina G., all beautiful souls and love-filled pray-ers. We were joined for a short while by Ericson V., who was on his way to the Greyhound station but wanted to share his prolife views with us, and Peg K., who prayed with us. We were also blessed with very reasonable weather!
We had a few negative drive-by comments and vigorous headshakes, and if only the nay-sayers/headshakers had stopped by to speak with us, they would learn the truth of what really happens inside PP, and why we are there to try to save the precious lives of the unborn. I noticed a sign in the upper window of the PP building, saying “We Support Your Choice” but nothing could be further from the truth. I know that if a young woman goes through the door of PP because she needs help with a pregnancy, she will be strongly encouraged to have an abortion. We know that the motivation behind this is the money PP receives for abortions, but it’s clear that while they are pretending to support these vulnerable women, they are treating them with total disrespect. They are telling these women that their babies are not worth bringing to life. They have seemingly judged these woman to be poor and ignorant, and incapable of loving and raising their children. These women are not given the truth about the dangers of abortion, nor information about adoption; they are just processed through the system and are left empty, and too bad if they have regrets later.
We did, on the positive side, receive many thank you’s and I agree with you’s and God bless you’s, so that always helps to reinforce the determination. It’s always uplifting to pray with those we were blessed to be with!
Additional comment from Mary:
Forgot to add something-while we were at PP this evening a young woman, an employee or patron of the bar, came over to ask us to pray for her mother, Alice, who is very ill in the hospital. We prayed for her and I said that I would ask everyone else to pray for her too. Thanks!