His Faithful 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)

May 6, 2016

Sometimes I struggle to be faithful. Last Tuesday was one of those days. I was standing on the street outside Planned Parenthood. It was cloudy. Cold. Feeling somewhat guilty, I still had to honestly admit to myself that I was simply…bored. Not too many conversations happening. I was trying to pray the Rosary but just kept losing track of endless Hail Mary’s. I could not focus. And it was a losing battle not to check my watch every two minutes (which felt like twenty-five).

I looked down the sidewalk at my fellow missionary. She was faithfully standing there, with her pro-life pamphlets and her rosary. Okay. We’re in this together. It’s not all about you. Just stay.

How much time left? Twenty more minutes?! Okay. Just twenty minutes. You can do this! Just stay. Be here. Present Moment. Grace is here. Offer it up. Sacrifice. Babies are counting on you. Stay. Remain. Faithfulness, not success.

Why don’t we just go? There’s only ten more minutes! Nothing is going to happen in the next ten minutes. Nobody is coming. It’s completely reasonable. You did your duty. It’s understandable. Some days are just like this. Don’t be so rigid. It’s fine. You can go.

Jesus. Help me. I cannot do this. Help me. I can stay here for five more minutes. It is not going to kill me. I trust You. Help me just stay these last five minutes! To be faithful!

Then, unbelievably, time’s up. Relief fills me as I glance at my watch and see the magical hand hit quarter past eleven. Praise the Lord!! I begin heading down the street to join the other missionary for our closing prayer. But I don’t see her at first…

Then I notice her, leaning in to the window of a car parked on the curb. She’s talking. Deep breath. Patience! Okay, Jesus.

I walk back to my post. And pray, more. Holy Spirit, be with her. Guide the conversation she is having.

Ten more minutes. But new resolve fills me now. Who is she speaking to? What is happening?

I glance over, and see the other missionary approaching me.

“That was amazing,” she says, shaking her head in disbelief. “That girl was just waiting in the car for her mom, who was in the building. She rolled down the window and actually asked me for a pamphlet! How did she know what I was doing here? Anyway, she’s pregnant. She has three children, and wants to finish school. She said she’s not sure if she should…terminate…”

As my sister missionary went on to describe their conversation, it became so clear that the Holy Spirit needed us to be there for those last five minutes! The young woman took our literature, and it seemed hopeful that she would reach out to the Sisters of Life for help. And that she was now more willing to give this baby a chance by choosing life.

I learned something that day about fidelity, even in small things. Results may not always be visible, as they were so mercifully that day, but His grace is always present and active.

Because, “Strong is His love for us. He is faithful forever” (Psalm 117:2).

– LAMP Missionary Kirsten Goza