…Trusting Like a Child…
Does praying in front of an abortion clinic sometimes seem as scary as this? Jesus tells us that we are to have child-like trust…yet thinking that we are going to end the monster of abortion with our simple prayers and sacrifices seems as likely to succeed as this toddler is to walk across this tightrope. We are so small and the world so big. Is it too dangerous to attempt? Are we being naive?
The traditional Catholic readings from this week are all about being child-like. In Monday’s Gospel, Jesus was asked who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, whereby He called a little child to Him and said:
Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.Matt. 18:1-4
And in yesterday’s Gospel, He says:
…I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that You hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to the little ones.Matt. 11:25
To the world, we look foolish standing and kneeling in front of Planned Parenthood. While the rest of the (grown-up) world goes about its (grown-up) business…attending to “more important” things…there we are. Foolish and naive. But while the rest of the world may look at us and see a few silly people wasting their time, praying to a non-existent god…I think this photo represents more accurately how we appear in the spiritual realm:
40 Days for Life is God’s doing. He is running this show…not us. It is simple. So simple, even a child can understand. We show up to the place where the babies are being killed and we pray. We fast and offer sacrifices to help our prayers ascend to Heaven, because Jesus said that some demons can only be driven out that way.
So don’t be afraid! Trust in God and come out to help us keep those sidewalks alive with Christian prayer! We need you! If you are feeling cynical about the state of the culture and think that you can’t make a difference with your prayerful presence, remember Jesus’ words! We should actually read those words, “Unless you turn and become like children, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”…with fear and trembling! Really! Those are strong words!
In fact, as I meditated on those words earlier this week, I asked God to show me what He means when He said we must be like children. “God, what are you telling us to do?”
Immediately, an image of the joy and excitement on my 4-year old twin grandkids faces as I pick them up from preschool came into my mind. They are always full of enthusiasm as they pile into my car…bubbling with anticipation about going with “Meemaw” to the playground. I chuckled inwardly as I imagined the ridiculous scenario of them climbing into their car seats with scowls on their cute little faces, complaining about their day at school, muttering about the work they were made to do…gossiping about their classmates and being bored about going to the playground. What a ridiculous image! Children are not cynical. They do not look at the bad in the world. They see only what is good and beautiful. It doesn’t take much to please them. (Example: When my son got home from work yesterday, he brought them a little container of play sand and you would have thought he gave them the world, they were so excited!) I think that is how we are supposed to be. When we arrive at Planned Parenthood to pray, we are JOYFUL! Even though it is a sad place, we have joy because we know that God is calling us to be there. He is doing mighty things through us, even though it takes the eyes of faith to see it.
So thank you for being part of 40 Days for Life, and for trusting with child-like faith! God is good and He loves us all! He will carry and protect us when we step out in faith.
Before going on to today’s shift reports, there are just a few things I would like to mention:
- We do get reports from our shift managers when couples change their minds and babies are saved, but we do not publish them in this blog…for safety and privacy (since we know that some PP employees read this blog.) But be assured…babies are being saved!
- The Magee Project is holding a prayer walk this coming Sunday, during the Board of Directors virtual meeting. She is asking for people to submit their comments to the Board. Please email her for the details at TheMageeProject@gmail.com
- Birthright of Pittsburgh is in need of people to attend their fundraising banquet on October 30th! Your financial support is crucial to their mission of service to pregnant women in need. Please consider attending if you can. Go to Gala – Birthright of Pittsburgh (birthrightpittsburgh.org) to get your tickets!
Keep reading for today’s shift reports…
7-9 Peggy & Beth
Last Wednesday three young girls approached me asking for the little baby models. That gave me the opportunity to engage them in conversation. I Invited them to go to www.babyolivia.com. It is a beautiful site which gives them the truth about life in the womb. They agreed to pass the video on to their friends. For the rest of my shift (and today) I invited our reluctant women who will not stop & engage to go to that site while they are waiting inside. It is a good tool for a receptive audience of young girls we encounter everyday.Peggy
9-11 Elsie & Linda
It was just Sidewalk Advocate Elsie and me on the sidewalk for our shift this morning. Several people went in and out of PP, and a few accepted our literature. I had an interesting conversation with a construction worker from the neighboring Bricolage storefront, who asked about the painted yellow semi-circle. He had been watching my interactions with those entering PP. He saw our efforts to help women and watched as a man actually tried to block my conversation with a PP client. The worker seemed to be won over by what we were doing.
It is always unsettling to see the Brinks truck pull up every Wednesday morning on our shift, to carry away PP’s cash receipts.Linda – Jesus, I trust in You
11-1 Katie & Terri
Karen and Frank joined Terri, Elsie, Joyce and I today, along with a man who just stopped by briefly to pray. Elsie, ever generous, left a mountain of diapers, wipes and children’s clothes for “D,” a woman we talked with a few weeks ago whose daughter and friend are pregnant. I also gave one of the green brochures and a gift box (with prenatal vitamins, baby items and self-care stuff for mom) to give to her friend who is pregnant. She had received literature from (most likely) Elsie previously and shared it with her then-abortion-minded friend, who said the prenatal development information really made her think. But she’s still in need of emotional and material support, so I encouraged her friend to get her in touch with Birthright, and told her how wonderful Regina is and how much they’re able to help mothers.
Something disturbing happened after my shift, a man in a CORE car (Center for Organ Recovery and Education) picked up several small plastic bags (of children, or their body parts, I’m assuming) and dropped one on the ground, but I couldn’t see what was in it. He then put them in a cooler in his car and drove away.Katie
1-3 Chris & Judy
My Shift Buddy, Judy, offered pro-life literature to passersby, as did Katie for the first hour and a half. Arlene, Chalice, and Paulette from Judy’s parish, St. Joseph the Worker, joined Jenna from Saints John & Paul and faithful Joyce from St. Michael the Archangel in praying the Rosary one right after the other. Jenna led us in prayers focused on the street address where we were- 9 Memorares, 3 Our Fathers, and 3 St. Michael the Archangel prayers. She also led us in a Divine Mercy Chaplet. Toward the end of our time there, Jenna showed me a picture she took during the shift- an image of a Cross on a nearby building. There was a lot of foot traffic on the street today and only one negative comment.Chris
3-5 Eileen, Michelle & Steve
Pretty quiet shift. Not sure if you heard about “D” picking up a load of diapers and other resources for her single mom daughter? She got there about 5 minutes before the end of our shift- she was SO happy and thankful… God is good!Steve
Vigil closed at 5 today because of illness…feel better soon, Joe!