Friday, October 25, 2013

40 Days For Life: DAY 31: Before and after

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Abortion promises relief ... that for around $500, your worries and fears will go away with a 15-minute surgery. It is sold and encouraged by many as the "responsible" solution.

That may be the promise before an abortion. But afterwards, a woman's face tells a very different story. That's why it is so important that we stand vigil -- before the abortion, to be a sign of hope ... and after the abortion, to represent our Lord's mercy.

Your prayerful presence outside the abortion facility before the abortion helps save lives.  Your presence there after the abortion can lead women to a path of healing.

As we get ready for the last week of the campaign, here are two examples from the 40 Days for Life blog that will encourage you to be there for the women in your community ... before and after their abortion.   

Annapolis, Maryland

"The last abortion clinic in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, presents a difficult challenge to the men and women supporting life," a volunteer wrote.

This business is in a three-story office building located between two busy streets. Prayer volunteers are not allowed on the property, he said, "so we stand on the sidewalks outside with our signs and pray -- day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year."

Since there are many offices in the building, it's not easy to tell who's there for an abortion. "We almost never get to counsel anyone," he said.

"You'd think we might give up," he noted. "But we had a similar situation at another abortion facility down the road. It closed. Prayer works. We've seen it. So we aren't quitting."

It can get discouraging if you can't see the fruits of your labor. "Imagine then, the joy a few of us felt when a lady came up to us a week ago to thank us for saving her from an abortion four years ago."

He said the woman explained that she was seriously considering an abortion until she saw the prayer volunteers and their signs. That's what stopped her. Her daughter is now 4 years old ... and the light of her life.

"She said she will join our prayer," said this volunteer. "God is good. Prayer works. And we won't quit." 

Peoria, Illinois

"In Peoria, Illinois," another volunteer told us, "my husband and I travel the hour to pray on our Monday hour."

The first day they prayed, they saw a woman holding a hand-painted sign that said, "I made a mistake."

Another prayer volunteer explained that this young woman made that sign after watching the people on the sidewalk praying in silent vigil.

"The love of the volunteers reached this wounded young woman," she wrote.

She wondered how many other young wounded women see faithful volunteers at prayer in front of abortion centers around the country and around the world.

"They may never paint a sign; but maybe, just maybe, healing begins," she said. "Thanks for all you do for life."

Here's today's devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh, Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference...

Day 31 intention

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 them.

--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.

Printable devotional

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

For Life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
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