Today our church had a "Life Chain". We gathered on the sidewalks up and down the busy streets surrounding the local abortuary for about 5 blocks on each side of the road. We all held signs and stood peacefully by the street in view of every passing car. It was a good turn out.
I wanted to keep things as "entertaining" as possible for my 6 year old, so I suggested we wave at every passing car and see if we could get 100 people to wave back at us. I would estimate about 1000 people drove by. Most saw us, as it was impossible not to, but pretended not to see. Most didn't care. A lot of people honked and waved and smiled. (This was '1' point each.) My 6 year old, and I, kept smiling and waving. Some people reluctantly waved or gave a little nod. (Hard to ignore a little 6 year old vigorously waving at you with all her excitement and her toothless grin... '1' point each.) A few people gave us a big "Thumbs Down"... and 2 horrible people held up their middle finger, looking directly at US... towards me as I held my 6 month old infant and my waving smiling 6 year old. One guy even yelled "F You!" at the top of his lungs with so much anger, I felt a backlash of anger welling up in myself. Who would flip off a little girl and a new born baby? Are you for real? It was appalling. I had to stifle the urge to flip HIM off 2 fold. (I told you, I am not always the perfect Christian.) Fortunately, I got a hold of myself and realized that THOSE were the people whom we were standing out there for... the people that were REALLY angry that we were there. Those people are the poor souls that we need to pray and fast for in order to bring about a conversion of their hearts and for the salvation of their souls. Why would they be so angry? They were all old men! Can you believe that? What happened in your past to make you hate what we were doing so much? To make you hate all that pro-life stands for? To yell horrible obscenities at my little girls? There was so much hatred in those gestures, even if for only a passing instant on a busy street. Is it because you are voting for Obama? Is it because you have turned against God because of something painful that happened to you? Did you and an ex girlfriend from your long-ago past make a decision to terminate her pregnancy and now you have buried the hurt deep inside and have to justify it through a hatred of Christianity?
My little daughter asked me what that "bad sign" meant, I could only shake my head in disbelief and tell her that it meant something very mean, and that those people were not on "our side"... they didn't believe that all babies should have a chance at being born and that if a mother didn't want to have a baby then she could decide just to make the baby go away, instead of offering the baby for another family who wanted to raise and love the child. Even my daughter had the sense to look at me and say, "Well how can they think THAT? Even they were born..."
It all reminded me of Ronald Reagan's famous quote:
"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
So, after we collected our 100 waves, we stood for a few more minutes to catch just 5 more, to make up for the 5 "Bad Guys". And when we gathered together to say our Rosary at the end, we said it not only for the intention of all the innocent babies slaughtered through abortion, but also for those 5 people who didn't like our signs. God only knows what good these things do... it usually feels like a lost effort and that you aren't going to change anybody's mind. But I know we have to keep trying.