Friday, March 21, 2014

40 Days For Life: DAY 17: Making a difference that lasts forever

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
At the end of the last 40 Days for Life campaign, I had the joy of seeing a 3-year-old girl, whose mom changed her mind and left her abortion appointment … after seeing the 40 Days for Life volunteers!

Seeing that beautiful girl and listening to her talk reminded me that the impact of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil goes far beyond the street corner, and far beyond the moment.

That impact is often generational. The baby saved today may grow up to have children … grandchildren … great grandchildren! And the child who sees and understands what’s at stake can also influence others – including their elders!

Montgomery, Alabama

Michelle in Montgomery said it was very cold and windy at the 40 Days for Life vigil, “but that didn’t stop us from praying for moms and babies!”

The volunteers were able to speak to a young woman, “who changed her mind and chose life for her baby! Our prayerful witness made a difference in their lives,” Michelle said, “forever!”

She sent along a picture of two very determined vigil participants, “who were unstoppable, even when clinic workers turned on the sprinkler.” And keep in mind it was already cold and windy!

Knoxville, Tennessee

It was cold and wet in Knoxville as well – but this was rain, not the mischief of the abortion center staff.

In this miserable weather, Paul, the local director, was setting up for the daily vigil around 6:50 on a Sunday morning – and the rain kept getting more intense. “I looked up and saw seven vehicles parked on Washington Avenue, and 15 people walking towards me.”

The people were members of the Hispanic Community of Holy Ghost Parish and they ended up covering the entire day. Pastors and church buses driving by gave thumbs-up and honked their horns … as did lots of others as well.

“They were joined by others through the day,” Paul said, “but their presence can only be described as truly inspirational.

McKinney, Texas

Another Paul, the local coordinator in McKinney, is often asked, “What about all those cars that go by and don’t even pay attention to us?”

“We never know what thoughts or conversations may take place,” he said. But he recalled a story he had heard from a teacher during a campaign a couple of years ago.

This teacher had overheard a conversation at school – a discussion between a second grader and another teacher.

The young boy asked his teacher if she had seen the people on the corner outside Planned Parenthood. She said yes, they were a bunch of protestors.” The second grader told her they were not protesting, they were praying – praying to save the lives of children.

“Yes,” said Paul, “our prayers go beyond this one corner and affect our community.”
Today's devotional is from Dr. James I. Lamb, executive director of Lutherans for Life.  

Day 17 intention

May the Lord of Light and Life unite us, shine in us and through us to make a difference in the darkness.


For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

— Ephesians 5:8-13
Reflection by Dr. James I. Lamb

For centuries physicists debated the nature of light. Two theories surfaced. The "corpuscular theory" maintained that light consisted of particles emitted from a light source. This explained some properties of light, but not all. The "wave theory" stated that light emitted from its source as waves. Again, this explained some properties of light but not all. So, the debate continued. Did light consist of particles or waves?

In the early twentieth century, Albert Einstein answered the question,"Yes!" (And you thought Einstein was complicated!) He showed that light consists of "particles," little bundles of energy called "photons." However, when all of these photons zip along together, they behave as a wave.

Sometimes pro-life Christians can feel like a photon, a little particle of light, and we wonder if we can possibly make a difference in a world of darkness and death. The Bible, however, never talks about a "child of light" only "children of light." When Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world," "You" is plural. When you and I shine in the darkness, others shine with us. We are pro-life "photons" that form a wave of light that can and does make a difference in the darkness.

We are compelled to do so. Jesus hung and suffered on the darkness of the cross and paid the bloody price for our sins. Now the light of His empty tomb shines upon us through His Spirit cleansing us and declaring us "children of light." But we are called to be more than "glow in the dark" children of light. We are to "walk as children of light" and take no part in the "unfruitful works of darkness." But it does not stop with passive restraint. We "photons" are called to action, to "expose" the works of darkness.

40 Days for Life epitomizes this. Our prayer, witness, and truth spoken in love seeks to expose the darkness of death and bring others into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. When we stand and pray, we never stand alone. The Light of the World is there and He joins you with your fellow "lights of the world." The wave of light He produces shatters the darkness. It changes and saves lives. Shine on fellow photons!


Shine Jesus, shine in us and through us into the darkness and upon those struggling in the darkness that they might be drawn to the Light of Life. Amen.

Printable devotional

To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share:
For Life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
PS: If you have a story to share about your experiences during this 40 Days for Life, please submit it as a reply to today's blog posting at: