The following was written by CCFL Board member Kathy Penrod.
I want to state first of all that I am not a person who likes to be out front in the spotlight. Give me something to do behind the scenes and I am a happy person. I don’t like crowds and I don’t like being in groups of people I don’t know. That being said, is it any wonder it has taken me several years to really get involved with the 40 days for life? When I first started going to PP to stand in protest for the lives lost right here in our town, I had to go with a friend.
When I did finally sign up for a time that no one else was able to cover, I drove around the block a few times trying to get up the courage to actually park and get out of the car. I would leave if there were others who showed up that I didn’t know. Sounds extremely paranoid right? Even after all this, I still felt God calling me to go and stand silently praying. So in 2016 both in the spring and fall 40 days for life events, I signed up. At the spring event, I didn’t sign up for a lot of time but at the fall event which just ended, I signed up for multiple times.
So, what have I learned by my time spent there in front of PP? Well, first I learned that I don’t have a life, that I am unemployed, and there is one guy in Bloomington who thinks he can have a baby since he yelled from his car “my body, my choice.” And there were some interesting suggestions made by passers-by about how I could better spend my time.
Seriously though, the most important thing about spending so much time alone was that I prayed and read the scriptures as I stood. I memorized one Psalm and started on a second one. I spent almost 16 hours of quality time with God. I met some new friends and spent time with some old friends. I learned how not to be angry at those who responded negatively to my presence there.
Instead I learned to pray for God to reveal Himself to them and that they would come to accept His mercy. I learned that you don’t have to say a word to be a witness. I learned that I am stronger and have more courage than I thought. And I learned that I have not spent enough time on my knees before God praying for an end to abortion in our city, in our country, and in our world.
I never thought that standing in front of the abortion clinic would help deepen my relationship with God but it has, or that I would be strengthened in my faith but I have. I gained so much more than I gave. Time spent there was truly no sacrifice, in fact that plot of grass in front of PP became my altar. I have been so blessed to be a part of this ministry. I hope others have found the same to be true for them.