“Lord, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.” (Psalm 139:1-2)
If you’ve never read all of Psalm 139 from beginning to end, give it a look! It begins with the reassuring and remarkably humbling idea that God our Father knows each one of us individually and intimately. He watches over us intently and knows even our unspoken thoughts (verse 4). The Psalm goes on to describe how His love follows us everywhere and he never abandons us. Even if we were to try to hide from God (verse 7), His hand would guide us (verse 10). In verse 13, the Psalmist proclaims, “You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb.” This has great meaning to the pro-life cause as it clearly describes how the all-powerful hand of God reaches inside the womb to handcraft each new life. And His work is wonderful (verse 14)! Further, each new creation’s actions are foreseen by God and “written down” as each day was shaped before even one came to be (verse 16). However, the Psalm changes its tone near the end with a warning to those who “deceitfully invoke Your name” (verse 20). The psalmist goes on to forcefully condemn these people.
This is the part that struck me most as I read Psalm 139 today. Among all the beauty and wonder of being a chosen creation of God there is a stark contrast to those who do not honor God’s creation. With Respect Life month coming up in many churches this October, it is sometimes suggested that we should focus more on other life issues, like the poor, hungry, and sick. While I agree that those groups should be a focus of efforts, abortion must be the main one. Because it is one of the only life issues (along with same sex marriage) where there are people who are in direct and loud opposition. This opposition even deceitfully invokes God’s name and continually spreads falsehoods about the “goodness,” “justice,” and “rights” of these actions. So today carry with you the awe of God’s personal attentiveness to you and stand strong in defending the unborn whom God’s hand is “knitting” today!
News from the last three Thursday Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, August 8, we estimate that SIX babies’ lives were ended at Forest View.
** TWO women chose LIFE!
- The first couple arrived in a car with WI plates. We see many cars from Wisconsin, in part because of Illinois’ almost non-existent abortion laws. In WI there is a 24 hour waiting period between a woman’s first visit to a clinic for counseling and the procedure. There is also a law requiring written consent from a parent or guardian for a minor, not just parent notification as was just ruled enforceable here in IL. To see a chart comparing some states’ abortion laws: www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_MWPA.pdf I approached Star and Tony, both in their 20’s, with an offer of hope and free help. Star told me she “had to do it” but wouldn’t say why. As I looked at Tony, he seemed to be less sure, so I appealed to him to save his child. He smiled but did not try to stop Star from walking quickly into the clinic. About 30 minutes later, they came out with a change of heart! Star was still concerned, however, as she confided that there may be problems with her and the baby. I gave her a brochure about the great pre-natal program they have just up the road from Forest View at Resurrection Hospital and promised we would all be praying for their family. Praise God!
- The second woman to choose life, Boo, arrived with her friend Pasant. Both are 20-something Hispanic women. They rushed in at first ignoring my pleas, but later Pasant came out for a cigarette. I asked her if she saw a burning building and knew a child was inside would she go in to save her? She said she would and then told me that she was against the abortion. So I pointed at Forest View and said, “There’s your burning building. Get in there!” I armed her with a rosary, a fetal model, and brochures and sent her in. About 45 minutes later she came out with a smiling Boo who immediately asked for her own pink Rosary since Pasant decided to keep the one I had given to her! I have a feeling this precious little baby is a girl, so I handed her a pair of hand-knit pink booties (which received a joyful “Awww!” from Boo) and told her she would be surrounded by prayer. God is so good!
** There was another possible save that day. A 17 year old girl, Leslie, came with her teen boyfriend, Diego, to get a pregnancy test at Forest View. Laura talked to them before they entered and brought them to the Women’s Center for one instead. It turns out that Leslie had had an abortion when she was 14 because her mom had pushed her into it. Her test at the Women’s Center was negative, but Leslie still felt sure she is pregnant, but just too early to tell, so the great counselors at the Women’s Center set up a follow-up visit. We are hopeful that whether she is or is not pregnant, she will now receive counseling and education to make life-affirming choices in the future.
** On Thursday, August 15, we estimate that SEVEN women chose to end the new life inside of them.
** Although no women that we know of chose life, Laura passed out many copies of the Human Life International informational newspaper to people walking by on the beautiful day during their lunch break. This community outreach is part of our mission to educate and spread the truth. We pray many minds were opened that day.
** On Thursday, August 22, we estimate that again SEVEN families were forever changed by the loss of a child.
** Nema and her husband came to abort their third child. Each stopped to talk to me separately. Nema told me she “can’t take care of another.” I told them about free help, but neither husband nor wife was willing to make sacrifices for their third child. We pray they find healing and forgiveness.
** One of our early morning prayer warriors had the opportunity to talk to the boyfriend of one of Forest View’s employees whom he drops off every Thursday. The young man told us that Brenda doesn’t agree with abortion and is looking for a new job. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but PRAY!
Our vigil update writer: