Today's news comes from our leadership team member, Erin Cain.
My hour was from 5-6PM, so it was rush hour traffic along Cleveland Avenue. The sounds from the street and rush of cars passing were so loud and so close that I was nervous to be standing there right off the street. The other two vigil participants and I began to pray the rosary, but could barely hear above the sound of the traffic. All of a sudden, a vehicle stops right in front of the abortuary, behind us. We hear a woman's voice ask, "What y'all doing? Praying? For what?" We turn around, and a black woman and her daughter are sitting in their van, stopped alongside this busy street during rush hour. My friend Therese went over to them and began to explain that this was an abortion clinic and inside they were killing unborn babies and that we were praying that they would stop. The woman seemed to be convicted right away and said something along the lines of, "I'm gonna come out and pray with y'all!"
So she drove away, and I don't know if any of us expected her to come back, so we resumed praying the rosary. But hardly two minutes later, here came the woman and her daughter walking across the grass in front of the abortuary towards us. We stopped and welcomed her and introduced ourselves. She asked if we were praying in silence, and we said that we were praying the rosary, but we could do silent prayer instead. We decided to do so, and she was going to open us in prayer. We gathered together so that we could hear, and she stopped suddenly, as if she had to explain herself, and said, "I mean, I pray to Jesus..is that what y'all do?" We quickly confirmed that yes, we did and she very passionately began to lead us in prayer, "Father God, we come before you right now on this day, and Lord we repent of our sins. Lord, they are killing innocent babies inside this building, and Lord we know that this is not what you want. You speak to us in Your Holy Word and tell us that this is wrong, Lord God..." She called down the Holy Spirit upon the building and prayed that any evil spirits would be cast out.
It was very moving, very unexpected, and very heart-felt. It was awesome. We said "Amen" and began to pray in silence. The woman had to leave soon after, as her 10 year old daughter was cold.
What a blessing! This woman was probably taking her daughter home from school, saw us with heads bowed in prayer, and decided to stop and see. She was a Christian, and needed to come and pray with us. It was only for ten minutes, but which ones of us would stop, unexpectedly and unplanned (when we probably have a thousand other things going on) to pray on a sidewalk at a place that you had never recognized before? About an issue that maybe you had never heard about before?
Please don't miss the blessing of coming to pray at the vigil. Wonderful things happen when we humble ourselves to pray.
I'll see you on the sidewalk,