Thursday, April 22, 2010
A man went over to our table and extended his hand to me while I was at lunch with my friend Fletcher. He held on to my hand for a long time and finally said, “Do you recognize me?” Somehow he looked familiar, but for a few odd seconds I couldn’t tell who he was. Then it came to me, it was Juan the gardener/security guard from the Calvary abortion clinic!
The last time I had seen Juan was on day 16 of the Spring 40 days for life campaign. Thursday March 4th of this year, a mare eight weeks ago, but Juan looked so different now than before. He is as skinny as a rail, his face a bit twisted, his speech is blurred, and his movements are slow and painful. Juan had suffered a stroke.
I have no idea how long Juan had worked at that abortion clinic. At first he was the gardener and the one who trained the new security guards, but they wouldn’t last very long, so more and more he would cover for them until one day they bought him a baseball cap and a t-shirt that read “SECURITY.” Juan took pride in getting the women into the abortion clinic by any way he could. I won’t go into all the different methods he used as not to give any misguided soul any ideas, but suffice to say that Juan was good at what he did. Juan was more than a security guard; he was an escort and took pride in escorting hundreds, possibly thousands of women and their babies to their death.
People go peacefully to pray outside that abortion clinic; To pray for the babies and their parents, for the conversion of the abortionist, the clinic staff and Juan. Juan knew this because he would stand a few feet from us. Countless times we prayed for the conversion of Juan, he was mentioned in countless Rosaries and prayers. And he remained the most faithful of clinic employees. Juan was very entrenched in his ways and only by the Grace of God will he ever change.
Then Juan disappeared and there was no way of knowing exactly what had happened to him, at least not by asking the other clinic workers. So today when Juan came over we talked for awhile and although I did most of the talking because of his speech problems, he made it clear that Our Lord had shown him that he had one opportunity to change his ways, that he is now closer to God and that he realizes now the evil of what goes on at the abortion clinic. Juan is a changed man and you could see it in his eyes. We hugged and he kept holding on to my hand again when I went over to his table to say good bye to him. I offered that if he needed someone to pray over him to let me know and I will find him good people that can do that. I told him that a lot of persons had been praying for him.
Today I was again given an opportunity to see how prayer works. Today, I saw my reflection in Juan’s eyes. Today, I saw my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ walking amongst us. When a mom decides for LIFE, we text the other sidewalk counselors: “Baby saved, Praise God!” Today we saw a security guard saved, and we Praise God!
Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray. -- St. Louis de Montfort
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
During Lent, we participated in the 40 days for Life campaign. We then had Holy Week and saw Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rise again on Easter!
Are we willing to continue participating with Jesus during the Easter season? Participating with Jesus during this time is to understand that for 40 days after Easter Sunday, Jesus is amongst us until His Ascension. Will you be able to see Jesus in the person sitting next to you in class, in someone asking you for a prayer, in a mom that is having a crisis pregnancy, in a dad that is afraid to become a hero to his baby, in the nurse who hates working at the abortion clinic but is afraid to leave, in the person who prays next to you on the sidewalk or even in the person who hates what you stand for?
Yes, Jesus is amongst us right now! Perhaps He will walk with you or share a meal like He did with a couple of His disciples on the road to Emmaus? Are you willing to walk with Jesus during the 40 days of Easter? Will you recognize Him? Or will you need proof like Thomas did? Are you willing to follow Jesus and go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature?
I have a challenge for you! Keep a log and write from now until The Ascension of Our Lord every time you encountered Jesus. Try it and you will be amazed of how close Jesus Christ is to you!
Peace be with you,