Diocesan News

“Tell them That They Make a Difference”

By Kris Sarver of Nemaha, a member of St. Clara Parish in Peru

I was driving past the Planned Parenthood facility in Lincoln to find parking. Our Bible study group (of St. Joseph Parish in Auburn) meets on Tuesday mornings, and the last Tuesday of each month we put our studies into action by making the 1-1/2 hour trip to Lincoln to pray in front of this building, where on Tuesdays abortions are performed. I glanced at the small crowd gathered on the sidewalk and the signs I could not read from my car and thought, "I wonder if anyone knows why we are here?" A shadow of doubt crossed my mind as to whether this could really achieve any purpose.

The wind was brisk and the temperature hovering around freezing as I knelt to pray. A group of college students next to me was reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet and I decided to finish it with them. Later, an older group of people arrived from a local parish and stood together to pray the Rosary. Others walked the sidewalk or stood facing the building in their own silent prayer.

I drove alone this day because I had errands to run in Lincoln. My plan was to be on my knees by 8:15 so I could make an appointment at 9:30. But a million things interrupted my plans and I was running for my car at 9:30 with only 45 minutes of prayer completed. I promised God I would come back to finish my hour.

When I returned at 10:30 the crowd was gone, save Jack, who cheers us hourly workers on. Beyond my study group, he is the only person whose name I know. His faith and enthusiasm are an inspiration to me. I gave him my email address months earlier so I could receive updates on what was happening within the walls of this killing field. He told me he had to leave in about 15 minutes to attend Mass, where he would act as lector and offer up prayers for the mothers and children we watched enter the building this morning.

As he departed, Jack stopped by and said he knew some people were afraid to stay by themselves, but he thought others would arrive shortly. I was not afraid, only cold, and thought how disappointed Christ would be if I didn’t "stand the watch" until I was relieved.

Thirty minutes later, I finished the Glorious Mysteries. I told God I felt stupid, alone and shivering in the cold when no one even knew what I was doing. I reassured Him that I knew that He knew, but the doubting Thomas inside me wondered if He really did. In this year of faith, I commanded my intellect to believe in God’s omniscience and omnipotence, and offered up my discomfort for the conversion of those inside the building. I started the Luminous Mysteries and a truly beautiful peace enveloped me.

Around 11:15, another woman arrived with her big, friendly dog and posted herself on the other side of Planned Parenthood’s driveway to pray. I decided to stay and finish my Rosary.

Not long afterward, a young woman walked out of the glass doors of Planned Parenthood. She was college age, her pink and white parka and thin brown sweat pants no match for this day. The wind pulled at her long brown hair and I thought she glanced in my direction. She hesitated, and then looked my way again. My heart nearly stopped as I realized she was coming to speak with me.

Her face was so delicate, fine bones and white skin with beautiful blue eyes. She asked, "Are you one of the protesters from this morning?"

I smiled and said, "We’re not really protesters. We are praying for the mothers and their children who go inside," and I nodded towards the building.

She smiled and a tear ran down her cheek. She said, "I didn’t have an abortion this morning because of you guys. Would you tell everyone who was here this morning that they make a difference?"

A tear ran down my cheek too and my smile widened. I hugged her and said, "Praise God! Thank you for choosing life for your baby. I will tell them they make a difference."

Then I looked in her eyes and said, "You know we have all sorts of resources if you need help?" She nodded yes and then turned back to the parking lot.

When she had gone, my prayer partner and her shaggy dog walked across the driveway and I told her what had just transpired. She said, "I am shaking inside," and tears welled up in her eyes too. We took our positions again and began to pray. When I finished my Rosary, I walked over to two other women who had joined us and passed on the young mother’s message.

Days earlier I had gone to Washington D.C. for the March for Life. I attended the premier of The Blood and the Rose the evening before the March, a documentary on Our Lady of Guadalupe (patroness of the unborn) and St. Juan Diego. The movie stressed Juan’s Indian name means "Messenger Eagle," and that we must all become Christ’s messenger eagles in this culture of death. I thank God for the great grace He showered on me, His unworthy servant, in allowing me to be the messenger eagle for this young woman who chose life for her unborn child instead of death. To all of you who are prayerful, visible witnesses at Lincoln’s abortion mill, "You make a difference."

Editor’s Note:

After Mrs. Sarver sent this account to the Register, a member of Lincoln Right to Life sent an email announcing three saved lives on the same day.

Looking to the beginning of 40 Days for Life, local coordinator Mel Zierke of Lincoln said, "The spiritual meaning of the 40th year is hoping we can start to see a change in the culture after 40 years of death, just Aaron led the Isrealites out of the desert and Jesus started his public minstry after being in the desert for 40 days."

The worldwide prayer vigil celebrates many successes, such as more than 80 abortion workers leaving their jobs, often many assisted by the "And Then There Were None" ministry, which helps abortion workers find new employment.

In addition, in the last 20 years, 171 Planned Parenthood clinics have been shut down in the United States.

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