I just returned from Connecticut, where I visited a 40 Days for Life campaign and spoke at a banquet for the pregnancy center just around the corner from the abortion facility.
There are many victories on the sidewalk. But there are also disappointments. The common thread, though, is that nothing can happen if we are not there for the women as they enter — and leave — the abortion center.
Between 40 Days for Life campaigns and the thousands of pregnancy centers from coast to coast, you are giving women hope at the most important level — the local level.
Here are some examples of the right people being in the right place at the right time.
Major in Huntsville notes that it’s often difficult to reach women on their way into the abortion center because of the facility’s escorts, who do their best to prevent vigil participants from speaking to their clients.
One day recently, the escorts weren’t there – so the volunteers had a chance to talk to a woman outside. She thought she was pregnant, but was told she needed a blood test. The abortion facility only charged $25, while other medical providers wanted upwards of $100.
Major said the woman did not appear to be abortion minded, but going into the abortion center ”is simply taking a terrible risk with the baby's life as those folks would surely try to convince her that she was in a bad pregnancy.”
One of the vigil participants knows a pro-life doctor, so she called him for advice. The doctor quickly offered to write the order for a blood test – and to pay for it himself.
“Prayer works,” Major said. “It always works!”
GREENLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Greenland's campaign has had a constant theme: snow! One storm alone dumped 30 inches. The volunteers at the 40 Days for Life vigil had to stay inside that day – but they didn’t stop praying – and they were back out with snow shovels soon afterward.
Jackie in Greenland tells of one volunteer. “She had an encounter with a young man who drives by the vigil site regularly. He told her he doesn't believe in her pro-life stance but he marveled at her perseverance,” she said.
“We are making a statement to the larger community, by our perseverance in praying outside the abortion center in all weather conditions,” said Jackie. “People are sacrificing their own comfort to save babies, and only God knows what effects this is having on other souls.”
“It was a bitterly cold day in the UK,” said Isabel in Birmingham. “The prayer volunteers stood shivering outside Calthorpe abortion clinic.”
They watched as a woman came out – perhaps the mother of a younger woman who had arrived for an abortion. She stopped next to the volunteers and simply said, “Well done! You've saved a life today!”
“No one noticed the cold anymore!” Isabel said.
That good news was tempered by what the volunteers saw next – a woman in a wheelchair being taken from the abortion center to her car.
“The fact that it was the clinic's wheelchair … led us to assume that she was suffering after having had an abortion,” Isabel said. “The battle continues.”
Today's devotional is from Rev. Paul Stallsworth, president of Lifewatch (United Methodist Church).
DAY 32 INTENTION
May we come to know that divine life, in relationship, creates human life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
-- John 1:1-3
REFLECTION by Rev. Paul Stallsworth, Lifewatch
"In the beginning" was God.
Always, before all times, there was God.
This particular God -- the God of the Bible, the God of St. John's Gospel -- is different from all other gods. This God is alive and full of life.
This God is not the picture of deadness and death, aloneness and isolation.
This God is the picture of life, relationship, and unity. For within this God, within this one God, there are three divine persons who live, who love, and who work -- together. This is the glorious mystery of the Trinity.
The Trinity means divine life. The Trinity means three, living Persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- who relate to each other. The Trinity means mutual love and service among three Persons.
The Word was always with God the Father. This Word was, is, and will be the Trinity's second person. The Word is also the Son of God or, as revealed in time, Jesus Christ.
God the Father and God the Son live, love, and work for each other. As one, they create "all things" together: the Father creates all things, including all human life, through the Son.
So the Father, through the Son, creates all human lives. The little one swimming in his mother's womb, the infant smiling in his father's arms, the child crying in pain in a hospital bed, the energetic teen running another mile, the old man gasping for his last breath -- all were created, at their beginning, by the Father through the Son.
No exceptions. Divine life creates human life.
O God, may we always be quick to call you Father. And when we call you father, let your Spirit remind us that we, and all people, from their beginning to their last day, are your children.
We praise you, Father, that you sent your Son to reveal to the world that all people are His brothers and sisters, that all people are your children. Through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
Yours for Life,
40 Days for Life
PS: How is 40 Days for Life changing your community? Your church? How is it changing YOU? Please reply to today's blog entry with your good news:
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