Bringing Beauty from Brokenness…
The photo above is a stained glass mosaic that I did way back in 2007, shortly after having been baptized in the Assembly of God church, and having repented from my sin and given my life to Christ. It hangs above the back door of my house, as a reminder of how God can take the broken pieces of anyone’s life and put them together in a new and beautiful way. I have always liked mosaics because of this reason. Nothing is wasted when it is given to God. He specializes in taking broken things and using them to create beauty. The key is to surrender those broken pieces to Him. If we are ashamed of the mess we have made of our lives, and try to sweep those broken pieces into a corner somewhere, He cannot bring restoration.
Why am I choosing to write about this today? Well, I have been thinking about the absolute brokenness that abortion causes. Imagine a beautiful cathedral with the most amazing stained glass windows…priceless masterpieces. Now, imagine an enemy comes at night with a sledgehammer and smashes them to bits. Destruction! Those windows can never be restored. It is a tragedy. We now have a decision to make. Are we going to sweep up those broken bits of glass and throw them away…or is there a way to put them back together in a different, but beautiful way?
Now imagine a brand new human person, being knit perfectly together inside his mother’s womb; Intricate structures of blood vessels from a tiny beating heart…perfectly formed fingers and toes, and all organ systems functioning. Imagine all the future joys, struggles, celebrations and tragedies destined for this child…all being smashed in an instant by an abortionist’s cruel instruments. The value of just one human being is infinitely more than a million masterpiece windows! And yet, we stand and pray as this happens daily at Planned Parenthood. We are helpless to stop it.
There was a story on the national 40 Days for Life blog that really shines a light on the tragedy and brokenness that abortion causes. It was from day 23, and is titled, “That Was My Grandchild.” It recounted a story from the Cherry Hill, NJ 40 Days for Life vigil, where a grandmother was bringing her daughter back to the abortion facility to complete the late term abortion that had been started the day before. She told the 40 Days for Life volunteer that her daughter was in her seventh month of pregnancy. The abortionist had injected digoxin into the unborn child’s heart in order to induce a heart attack. The abortion is then completed the following day when labor is induced and a dead baby is delivered. What was especially heartbreaking about this story is that the grandmother told the volunteer that her grandbaby was a fighter, because it took that baby three hours to die. The abortion facility staff would not let them leave until the baby had died. (They want no chance of a live birth after all!)
My point is this: In the face of such evil and destruction, which we are completely powerless to stop…we have a decision to make. What is our response going to be? Will we just sweep up those broken pieces and push them to the back of our minds…hiding them behind worldly distractions? Or, is there a way that we can allow God to use our prayerful presence to create something beautiful?
Last Friday at our Pittsburgh vigil there was an older woman who walked past our prayer volunteers four times before she got up the courage to stop and emotionally shared her story. She had an abortion 41 years ago and she still mourns the loss of her child. This sort of thing happens often. This is an example of God putting broken pieces back together…in the opportunities to show compassion and love to those hurting hearts and to direct them to post-abortion healing retreats such as Rachel’s Vineyard.
We all have a choice to make when faced with evil and destruction. Will we run and hide? Or will we stay and pray and see what God will do?
Mark your calendar for our closing events on November 5th!
Meet at Planned Parenthood at 3:30pm for a Jericho March led by Pastor Joe Stump. Then, at 4:30pm, His Excellency, Bishop Waltersheid will be bringing the Blessed Sacrament to Planned Parenthood for a closing prayer to officially close our 40 Day vigil, and will lead us in a Eucharistic Procession to Epiphany Church for a closing Mass.
Thanks to all who came and prayed today! May God use your prayers to bring healing and restoration to our broken city! Enjoy the shift reports and photos…
Stories from the Sidewalk
It was a fairly quiet time, though sadly, one couple and two single women went in, rejecting the help we offered. We prayed Memorares for them, along with the rosaries we were praying. We were blessed to have Bonnie join us this morning.Cathy
I was blessed to travel to the killing center with six dear, kind laypeople from my parish, Divine Redeemer: Jim, Dennis, Michele, Ibie, Marian, and Terri. Bill H. and his oldest son stopped by and encouraged us on the sidewalk. We were soon joined by our wonderful pastor, Father Brian, who gave Conrad (sharing the shift with me) his blessing as soon as asked. Conrad brought the replica of the miraculous image of Our Lady & Our (hidden, unborn) Lord of Guadalupe. He and Marian shared the loving labor of bearing the image, while quiet-but-strong Susan held high the “I am Human” sign, displaying a beautiful photo just like all of us at just 6 weeks in utero. Dropping by were Laura (please pray for her — she needs healing to get out of that wheelchair AND into safe housing!), Rocky, and several other kind souls who, though enduring hard times, recognize the value of LIFE when so many living in penthouses do not! Led by Father Brian and Jim, the prayer-warriors prayed the Joyful and the Luminous Mysteries for unborn babies and their parents and grandparents. Sadly, the death mill seemed to have a macabre assembly line going on today, with groups of two or three mother & child victims entering and being processed at the same time. Please God, grant that some mothers changed their minds and left later with their babies unharmed — or will seek Abortion Pill Reversal tonight by contacting AbortionPillReversal.comElsie
The best thing that happened today was that the sidewalk was filled with individuals who came to witness. Father Brian Noel from St. James (Divine Redeemer) in Sewickley came with several parishioners. He is our dear Elsie’s pastor. I spoke with several of them, and they know what a gem our Elsie is to everyone. Another group soon arrived from Divine Grace Parish. Brett and Pete from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Parish just decided to come over on their own. Our last three individuals came from St. Mary’s in Kittanning. Our regular prayer buddies, Priscilla and Joyce, huddled together in prayer. It was very nice to see all of these groups offering prayers and rosaries. I believe that this may have been our largest group this campaign. We didn’t get much passed out today and there weren’t any negative encounters. We were blessed because the sidewalk was alive with the sound of prayer!Terri
And then there were a dozen… Yes, that’s how many prayer warriors joined me today on Liberty Avenue. Praying multiple Rosaries and Chaplets of Divine Mercy were Arlene, Phil from St. Aidan, Kevin from Regina Coeli, Shift Buddy Elaine from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Frank from Mary Mother of God in White Oak, and Helen. As usual, Sidewalk Advocates Katie and Judy were persistent in trying to hand out pamphlets and free-help cards to those entering PP and to passersby.Chris
We started the shift with a fellow who claimed to be a scientist, who went through a very difficult pregnancy with his wife and was asking a lot of questions about what the church would allow and wouldn’t allow in certain situations. At first, I thought he was another heckler, but he claimed to be pretty sincere, and was having problems with his wife after the birth of her son. He claims she was very combative and there was no getting along with her, and he left home so that their son wouldn’t be exposed to their constant conflict. Eileen was an absolute saint in talking to him, and being very patient and telling him the church’s position on all the questions he was asking. After that things pretty much calmed down and we did get in a group Chaplet and a group rosary. We saw several women leave Planned Parenthood with their paper bag. There was also the homeless lady in the wheelchair, I can’t remember her name, but Joe took her to get a cup of coffee. We did have one street person walk by saying that he loves to grind babies into paint. I said some extra prayers for him. Hoping the nice weather holds out through next week as well. Thanks and may God bless you.Larry