When a 40 Days for Life vigil is just getting
started, abortion workers first consider you a
religious zealot, then a radical. As time goes on,
you’re seen as someone who simply has nothing
better to do with your time.
But toward the end of the campaign, you become a
question for them. The stereotypes wear off and
the abortion center staffers see you as a human
being … and they ask themselves the question,
“What good do I really do here?”
We are now at that point.
During this campaign, we’ve had reports of three
abortion center employees who have left their jobs
— and a few others are thinking about it. In the
majority of these cases, the stories will remain
When former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson
experienced a conversion, quit her job and walked
into my office at the Coalition for Life next door,
she lost not just an income but close personal friends.
These workers will experience the same. So please keep
them in your prayers as they transition out of the
abortion business and find hope and healing.
THE VISITOR’S WIFE
At one 40 Days for Life vigil, a man walked up to the
prayer volunteers with a request. “My wife works in
there,” he said, pointing towards the abortion center.
“I am against abortion and I’m trying hard to convince
her to quit,” he said. “Would you pray with me to get
her out of there?” Of course, the vigil participants
did just that.
Another volunteer reports that an abortion center
employee stopped on her way in and struck up a
conversation, asking — very sincerely — why there
were people outside praying. She listened intently,
took some pro-life information from the volunteer,
and promised to study it.
The leaders at one 40 Days for Life location have
been watching as employees come and go, and the
turnover has been noteworthy. Over the past few
years, more than 20 people have quit and been
replaced. The local 40 Days for Life team is not
sure if all of these people have changed their minds
about abortion, but it’s certainly clear that this
facility has a hard time retaining staff.
THE ABORTION CENTER EMPLOYEE
At another 40 Days for Life location, there’s been a
very clear change of heart. There was an employee who
would come out of the office — and criticize prayer
volunteers for harassing women entering the building.
One day, however, there seemed to be something
different. The employee appeared upset, and said they
really didn’t want to be there, but needed the job.
A volunteer briefly told of how Abby Johnson had
left Planned Parenthood — and wrote about her
experiences in a book called “Unplanned.” The worker
grabbed a smart phone. Volunteers think it may have
been to Google “Abby Johnson” right there on the spot.
Several days later, one of the vigil participants saw
this employee while out shopping — and the employee
said the people praying were not really harassing
women. This worker hasn’t been seen at the abortion
center since then.
THE ABORTIONIST’S WIFE
The wife of the abortionist will speak to vigil
participants from time to time outside the abortion
center. One day recently, she stopped at the end of
the driveway to tell two volunteers there would not
be any abortions that day.
As she began to pull into the street, she stopped
again and said, “Thank you for your prayers!”
“We both just stood there for a moment as she drove
away and said to each other, ‘Did she just thank us
for our prayers?'” said one volunteer. “Needless
to say, we will continue to pray even harder.”
Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der
Swaagh, Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian
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
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.
To download today’s devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:
40 Days for Life