His Redeeming Face

THE FACE OF MERCY: Stories and Reflections from the streets of New York

“Jesus Christ reveals the face of the Father’s mercy.” (Pope Francis)

Of You my heart has spoken: Seek His Face.” (Psalm 27)

March 31, 2016

It was Tuesday of Holy Week. She appeared across the sidewalk from me, looking around for a building address. I got that familiar sinking feeling in my stomach as I thought, “I bet she’s trying to find Planned Parenthood.”

I approached to offer her one of our pro-life brochures. Looking confused, she responded, “Oh, is this where the parenting place is?” Side-stepping her question, I explained that we were offering information about free pre-natal resources. Did she know someone who was pregnant?

Suddenly, she opened up. She was pregnant. It was her first baby. She was not from New York and didn’t know how to access resources here. She felt afraid…overwhelmed…unsure. She had considered abortion, but…something in her heart told her that was not the answer.

I told her about the Sisters of Life and encouraged her to call. “You can do this,” I told her. “God has a plan for you and for this baby. But you can’t do it alone. It’s not going to be easy. But He is going to be there, and there are so many people out there who are willing to walk the whole way with you.”

I gave her a rosary and explained what it was. “Mary is a mother. She is the Mother of Jesus. She knows what it’s like. She struggled. She can walk this path with you.” I watched her thoughtfully fingering the pink plastic beads.

Then I handed her two Scripture cards – “This one is for you. And this one is for your baby.” She read the verse: “You are precious in God’s eyes (cf. Isaiah 43:4).” She smiled at me and started to cry at the same time.

“Now you’re making me cry. It’s just because I’m pregnant!” she laughed.

I asked about the baby’s father. Was he in the picture? “Actually,” she answered, discreetly glancing sideways, “he’s right over there.” There was a man leaning against a mailbox on the curb. “Sometimes it’s hard to talk to your partner about…these things,” she continued.

“Right,” I responded. “That’s why you need positive support from others.”

“Okay. I’m going home, and I’ll call the Sisters from there. I feel better. I think God put you here. Actually, I saw you out here last summer. I remembered you when I came today. I was actually looking for you. And then, there you were! And…can I have a hug?”

Jesus, I don’t remember ever seeing this woman in my life. I don’t know where she came from. All I know is that we stand out here week after week and, once in a while, You show us Your redeeming Face. Thank You.

– LAMP Missionary Kirsten Goza