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Monday, October 26, 2009

Mirasola and the Good News

LeeAnne and I ventured off the beaten path of our Sidewalk Counseling Ministry (Facing Abortion) last Tuesday to do a little "Recon" work. We decided to scope out some other dusty trails and visit some abortion clinics in the east valley to get an idea of different approaches that are undertaken and how to actually reach the women that are visiting these "clinics". We also visited our friends over in Tempe at Aid to Women's Center - the good guys that operate a crisis pregnancy center and serves the greater community of Arizona State University. A busy place indeed.

We struck up a lively conversation with three gentlemen from Holy Spirit Parish who were on the sidewalk three days per week praying and spreading the good message of life to those who will listen. My hat is off to these men; rare it is to see guys over 50 out there on the streets doing this kind of work. They wore matching shirts and straw brimmed hats and were full of JOY. As we talked, a burgundy SUV pulled up and the woman driver motioned for me to come closer. She shouted out "Are you here to protest abortion?" To which I replied, "yes". She responded to me: "7 months ago, I came to this Planned Parenthood office to get an abortion, and one of those men over there talked me out of it. I came here last week to thank them but they were gone. I'm back today and I brought my 7 month old son to show them that they saved his life."

She came back to say thanks. (I am instantly transported to the gospel passage where one of the ten lepers returns to do the same.) I motion for our new friends to come over to the vehicle. Troy sat in the back seat. He was all smiles, chubby cheeks and motion. We were all beaming: the straw-hatted men, LeeAnne, Mirasola-the new mommy, Troy and me.

Transported to joy. Joy is that feeling we get when we are truly experiencing God's eager goodness. We get to be transported when we put our will and our lives into His care. We experience it in so many music, in poetry, in love, in gratitude and most especially in service. Sometimes, I think we also get to glimpse a bit of God's gratitude if we stick around long enough. This is joy.

Past the seeker, as he prayed, came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them the holy one went down into deep prayer and cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?"

And out of the long silence, God said: "I did do something about them. I made you." (Corrigan, Disciple Story)

Go be about the service of God today. And be transported to joy.

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