Is it just me, or do you feel like the whole world has gone crazy?
During this past Sunday morning Rosary walk through downtown Pittsburgh, I watched as dozens of spandex-clad people bowed and stretched on their yoga mats in the middle of Market square. I guess that when one has no God to worship on a beautiful Sunday morning, one needs to worship something else…so why not one’s own body?
I witnessed a man, possibly homeless, doing push-ups on the filthy sidewalk on Liberty Avenue…his bare hands pressed into the grime of the concrete…while wearing a mask over his face to protect himself from germs!
Two young men were staggering in the middle of Seventh Street…barely able to stand upright…this was at 11 am on a Sunday morning and they were already so high they could hardly walk.
Last week my husband told me that he was in Lowes to buy some polyurethane, and as he approached an employee to ask where he could find it, the man held his hand out in front of him and shouted “STOP! STAY BACK! BACK UP!” Joe was startled, to say the least. He backed up away from the man as far as he could and asked, “Is this far enough?” The man said that it was, and then proceeded to tell him where to find the polyurethane.
Doesn’t it seem ironic that most people don’t care about the millions of babies who are dying every year through abortion…yet they are so worried about dying themselves? This seems like the Lord’s doing to me. It seems fittingly just that God would send a blindness to those who would refuse to see truth of the horror of abortion all these years. Now they are unable to see truth at all.
I was inspired last week when I listened to a 40 Days for Life podcast where Shawn Carney interviewed Lila Rose. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN. In this interview, Lila tells of her experience growing up in the 90’s in southern California. She was raised by a faithful Christian family and was homeschooled, thereby protected and preserved from the moral and spiritual poison of her generation. As a young girl she was profoundly convinced of the injustice of abortion and understood that it was the most important human rights issue of our time. When she was 18, she went to an abortion clinic for the first time to pray. She was so impacted by that experience that her whole world changed. She never again wanted to live a “normal” life…going about “business-as-usual“, while babies were being legally slaughtered by abortion. From that moment on, she dedicated her entire life to exposing the evil of abortion through her ministry, “Live Action”.
The thing that most inspired me to buy her book, “Fighting for Life” (link to order here) was when she spoke of pro-lifers being the “sane ones“….while everyone else is really the crazy ones. She said, (I am paraphrasing here)…that people think we are crazy to be standing in front of abortion clinics. And truthfully, if what is terminated in an abortion is really just a clump of cells…(like a tumor)…then the world is right. We ARE crazy! But…if what is in the womb of a pregnant woman is actually a human being…and if an abortion really and truly KILLS THAT HUMAN BEING…then it is us who are the sane ones, and those who accept it, celebrate it or obliviously ignore it are the crazy ones!
So why is it so difficult for the pro-life movement to get volunteers? Why don’t more people SEE the horror of abortion? How is it that most Christians are able to go through their lives without giving much thought to the poor, vulnerable little ones who are being killed?
I honestly don’t know, but I have a theory…and it came to me early this morning during my 3 am hour of prayer in a local adoration chapel.
As I prayed and soaked in Jesus’ beauty in the Blessed Sacrament, exposed in the Monstrance, it was as if He showed me a little clip of my early days of being a new Christian. He showed me how it was that He so blessed me with being a part of the pro-life movement…and thereby having the immense privilege of being around so many wonderful brothers and sisters who are able to SEE…and who are not BLIND!
He showed me the time, even before I totally surrendered my life to Him in the waters of baptism…but was reading the Bible and going to church every Sunday. I was seeking Him with all my heart, but still living a worldly and selfish life. I had recently married and had the luxury of being able to quit the 9-5 job that I hated. I was able to be a stay at home mom, which I had always wanted to do. I loved being at home, being able to keep the house spotless…plan delicious meals for my family, and still had time for “me”. I loved going for walks, exercising by doing Yoga, karate and dance. I had my life that I always dreamed of.
And then one day…as I walked to church one beautiful summer morning…I saw an ambulance in front of a house and saw a woman I recognized from my Methodist church being carried out on a stretcher. She had eight small children, who sat in the pew in front of me every Sunday. I knew she was a single mom and struggled financially, and I had heard she had cancer. From the looks of her laying on the stretcher, I could see that she was not long for this world.
My beautiful Sunday morning was over. I wished I could un-see what I had just seen, but I couldn’t. When I got to my church, asked the pastor if he was aware of her situation. I was sure that some sort of effort to help her was already underway. There was none. There was no family to help the kids, no one to bring meals. I had to organize something. I did. When we entered the apartment, we were overwhelmed by the smell…the filth…dirty clothes, rotting food and dirty dishes piled everywhere. The younger kids were sleeping on dirty mattresses on the floor of a bedroom whose window didn’t even open and with no air conditioning. The older teens slept in the basement, and I am sad to say that I couldn’t even get up the courage to go down there. Long story short, we organized a group to go in and clean and to bring meals every day while their mom was in the hospital, until she passed away and then the kids were scattered to relatives homes. But while I was doing this task of going into this depressing and sad situation…overcoming my fear of dirt and germs…I was consciously offering it to Jesus. I was saying in my mind, “Jesus, I am doing this for You!“. When I would get home at night, I would feel so dark and depressed that I remember staying up late watching kids cartoons…just to get my mind off of it.
The Lord showed me this morning that when I did that…when I gave up what I wanted to do…for HIM…that it gave Him some room in my soul to come in.
About a year later, a friend of mine showed up at my door holding a 4-month old infant. She was a relative of the baby, who she was watching because the mother was a heroin addict and the grandmother was in the hospital while her 18 year old son was dying from Leukemia. My friend already had three small children of her own and it was getting too much for her to keep this little infant. I looked at this beautiful, helpless, motherless infant and offered to keep her for as long as necessary. “J” became like my own baby. After the grandmother’s son passed away, she took “J” back, but, since she was a single mom herself, she needed someone to babysit “J” every day while she worked, but had no money to pay a babysitter. I offered to do it for free. She worked long days, usually 7am-7pm…so until “J” got old enough that she didn’t need me anymore…we became like her family. Back then I was spoiled and selfish and liked to sleep as late as possible. I would have to get up very early to be ready for “J” to be dropped off at 6:45 am, and as I was dragging myself out of bed…preparing myself mentally for a long day of caring for a baby…I would say silently, “I am doing this for YOU, Jesus!”
Jesus showed me this morning that during this time of doing what I didn’t want to do…but doing it anyway out of love for Him (and love for little “J”)...that created a WHOLE LOT of space in my soul…and He was able to move right in and take over! He established a stronghold in my soul and was then able to give me a beautiful treasure; the treasure of helping to establish a pro-life witness in Pittsburgh through 40 Days for Life! The treasure which eventually led me Home to the Catholic Church and allows me to be surrounded by and connected with the most wonderful Christian brothers and sisters who are not blind, and who are able to see what is going on right now in the world. I want to shout out loud, “THANK YOU LORD!!!”
So, this was an unusually long blog post, and if you are still reading…thank you. I guess I wanted to write about my own experience of getting involved with pro life to help to inspire anyone who is doubting their “sanity”…as the world loses theirs.
The bottom line of this post is this: If you make the time to sacrifice your own will for God’s will, by worshiping Him every Sunday and by praying in front of an abortion clinic regularly…then you are the sane one! Thank you for your obedience to God! By giving up your own will, you are making room in your soul where God will be able to move in and bless you with amazing and wonderful blessings!
If you are able to help on the sidewalk this week, we need help on Thursday from 9:30-11:00 (Dean alone), and Friday from 1-3 ( Jeannie needs a partner).
Thank you and may God bless you!