Friday, October 28, 2011

DAY 31: The abortionist's wife


Dear Deacon,

Today's story is not one you'd hear every day.

Two years ago this month, former Planned Parenthood
director Abby Johnson experienced a conversion after
witnessing a live abortion on an ultrasound at her
office in Texas.

She walked into my office at the Coalition for Life
next door, told me her story, then resigned from the
abortion industry.

I had known Abby for eight years before that day
and I'd had multiple conversations with her through
the fence outside Planned Parenthood. But after her
conversion, I realized how much I didn't know.

I didn't know that her parents were pro-life and had
been praying for her to leave Planned Parenthood.

I didn't know her husband was pro-life and her job
created tension in their family.

I didn't know that before Abby saw that ultrasound,
even she was starting to see that Planned Parenthood
cares more about abortion than anything else.

We don't know what God is doing behind the scenes.
We must trust, we must pray -- and we must know
that our witness on the sidewalk is always part of
a larger picture.

Here's a story that shows what I mean. I'm not
revealing names and locations, and I've changed some
details. This is still a work in progress!


A vigil participant was noticing that nearly all the
cars in the abortion center parking lot were parked in
the staff area -- very few were in the area reserved
for those with appointments. And that was good.

The volunteer was soon deep in prayer when the
abortionist drove up -- with his wife and their
teenager. He got out of the car and headed toward
the building while the wife and teen drove away.

The abortionist's wife pulled up next to the vigil
participant, rolled down her window and asked, "How
are you doing?" The surprised volunteer answered,
"Good! How about you?"

She responded, "I just wanted to tell you that I so
appreciate what you do and how you are always so nice
and respectful." That simple response turned out to
be the opening line in a very lengthy conversation.

The wife expressed her gratitude for the way the
40 Days for Life vigil is conducted. In another city,
there is a group outside the abortion center that
yells at her husband.

Here, however, he's been told that the vigil
participants are praying for him. "He just can't
understand how you can be so against what he does
and yet so nice to him."

She explained that her husband grew up in a home that
had no use for religion -- the concept is totally
foreign to him. The volunteer promised to pray that he
would be able to grasp -- and eventually embrace --
faith. The teen blurted out, "Please do!"

"I asked the abortionist's wife to pray for me," said
the volunteer, "and she said she would."

The wife said, "I'm really impressed that you believe
in something so strongly and passionately that you’re
willing to be here every week for years in every kind
of weather."

"There is much to meditate upon from this conversation,"
said the 40 Days for Life volunteer. "It confirmed the
constant presence, the peaceful method, the prayerful
attitude. It helped give me a renewed sense of
dedication to continually trying to get people to
sign up so that we can have a constant presence on the
sidewalk. We never know who will see us and when they
will see us.

"God gave me an awesome story in order to ask once
again for you to join us for 40 Days for Life. Please
keep praying for an end to abortion and for ALL those
involved. God is using us to help bring His children
to Him -- ALL of them!"

Here's today's devotional from R

40 Days for Life - Pensacola

Image by hbimedialibrary via Flickr

ev. J. Kirk van der
Swaagh, Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian


For the medical community, that the truth they know
about the human body may become awe and wonder at the
God who made it.


Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And
in Your book they all were written, the days
fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of

--Psalm 139:16

REFLECTION by Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh

Human beings -- God's tapestries.

Psalm 139 is a psalm that reveals the enormity and
otherness of God. His divine attributes are on
display: omniscience (2-4), omnipresence (7-12),
loving-kindness (17-18), justice (19-20),
righteousness (23-24), and omnipotence.

Yet, when it came to express this last attribute,
what example did the psalmist use -- God's creation
of mountains, seas, or far-flung galaxies? No, he
used none of these. To express the wonder of God's
unparalleled creative power the writer mentions the
fashioning of the human in the womb (14-16).

The Hebrew word used to express God's forming of us
in the womb, raqam, is the same term for needlework
or embroidery. In other words, we are a tapestry that
displays God's artistic mastery.

And, like the artist who knows his creation down to
the last detail, God intimately knows us. This
reality provokes the writer to awe and wonder. He
proclaims, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

What is true for this psalmist is true for each human
being. Each is fashioned by God and known by him and
we can proclaim on behalf of each, "I am fearfully
and wonderfully made."


Gracious God, help us to appreciate the wonder and
beauty of Your creation. Help us proclaim on behalf
of every one of our fellow human beings, "I am
fearfully and wonderfully made." May the knowledge
that we are intimately known by You shape our lives
and actions. Amen.


To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

PS: What's new with your 40 Days for Life campaign?
   Please share the news with everyone! You can do
   so by leaving a comment on today's blog entry:

 40 Days for Life

10908 Courthouse Road
Suite 102229
Fredericksburg, VA

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