Joy in the Midst of Garbage!

I just want to share a story about a funny thing that happened to me on Sunday, as I was leaving to attend our 40 Days for Life closing events. It was one of those things that wasn’t funny at the time, if you know what I mean.

I jumped in my car at 3pm, in order to get to the Jericho March around PP by 3:30. I pushed the start button on my car…and nothing happened. Oh no! What is wrong?

I checked inside my purse where I always keep my car key. Nothing there! What could have happened? I ALWAYS keep my car key in my purse! Where in the world could it be? I don’t have a spare key!!! My mind starts racing about what to do. How do I get downtown in time, and how will I drive my car for the rest of the week? What will it cost to get another key and how long will it take?

I run back into the house and immediately begin to search inside all of my coat pockets. I race upstairs and get on my hands and knees, searching under the bed and under desks and in corners…in the laundry room…everywhere I could think of. Now it is too late to make the Jericho March, but I have to be there for the Eucharistic Procession! I tell my husband he needs to drop what he is doing and drive me in his truck. As we head down our street in his truck, he remembers he left his phone at home, so we turn around and head back. As we are headed back home, I have an idea. I wonder if I could have accidentally thrown my keys in the trash? I had emptied the kitchen trash and put the bag outside earlier that day. The thought of sorting through all the gross-ness was not appealing to me, especially since I really didn’t think there was much chance of my keys being in there…but then another idea came to me: “Just grab the whole garbage bag and put it in the car!” I sat in the driver’s seat and pushed the button. It started! Joy!!! My husband and I were suddenly all smiles, as we sorted through the gross coffee grounds, bits of slimy vegetables and other disgusting things. We were able to have joy while doing this because we knew that the keys were definitely in there!

After washing my hands, and washing off my keys, I finally got in my car and headed to Pittsburgh in time for the closing. As I was driving, still with a smile on my face (and thanking St. Anthony!)…I had a funny realization come to me. If I hadn’t already known that my keys were in that trash bag, I would have not had any joy while sorting through the contents. Quite the opposite. I can imagine that I would have felt a sort of desperate hopelessness…a last-ditch effort that I would have been doing in desperation. But because I KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT that my keys were there, it didn’t matter how nasty the job was, or even how long it would take to find them. I was assured of victory!

And it occurred to me as I was driving, that that same principal applies to the dirty, nasty, seemingly hopeless work that we do on the sidewalk. People who see us there must think we are crazy to think that our prayerful presence will make a difference…as couple after couple walk right by us to go in and have their children killed. But we know better. We KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that Christ has already won the victory for us! It doesn’t matter how dark and hopeless it seems in the moment, and it sure does look dark and hopeless right now, doesn’t it???

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, where our Lord is betrayed and captured. Friday He will be tortured mercilessly and crucified. He will suffer and die for us. However, in just a few short days, He will rise victorious! And for those of us who love Him…we will get to share in that victory! So don’t ever give up hope!

We march on to victory in Christ!

DAYS 1-20

DAYS 21-40

The next 40 Days for Life will begin on September 25th, and end on November 3rd! Have a blessed Easter!


6 thoughts on “Joy in the Midst of Garbage!”

  1. Thanks Nikki for your beautiful post! It is a timely reminder of how important our joy is to not only the women/men entering PP but to all those passing by us on the sidewalk.

    Blessings to all during these holiest of days!

    Marie Pfau

  2. At the end of Mass the other night, Bishop W. spoke before heading down the aisle. It was hard to hear because he did not have a mike, but I did hear him say that we should never think what we do there is without good effect.

    PS; Thank you for your prayers for Jack (and me) for his recent heart illness. He is recovering, a little better each day.

  3. Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord?
    Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever
    hear of women going to the mountains.
    But we know why — right?
    Because the women were too busy
    keeping life going;
    they couldn’t abandon babies,
    and a thousand responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains!
    I was talking to a friend the other day,
    saying that as modern woman
    I feel like I’m never “free” enough
    from my responsibilities,
    never in a quiet enough space
    I want with God.
    Her response floored me,
    “That is why God comes to women.
    Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women where ever they are.”
    I have been pondering on her words for weeks and have searched my scriptures
    to see that what she said is true.
    God does in deed come to women
    where they are,
    when they are doing their ordinary,
    everyday work.
    He meets them at the wells
    where they draw water for their families,
    in their homes,
    in their kitchens,
    in their gardens.
    He comes to them
    as they sit beside sickbeds,
    as they give birth,
    care for the elderly,
    and perform necessary mourning and burial rites.
    Even at the empty tomb,
    Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection,
    She was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.
    In these seemingly mundane
    and ordinary tasks,
    these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with divinity.
    So if — like me — you ever start to bemoan the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend in the mountains with God as you would like. Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and in the most ordinary things.
    He lives. And he’s using a time such as this to speak to women around the world.
    -Heather F

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