On Thursday mornings, I join a group of young mothers and their children and several Roman Catholic folks for a litany in response to abortion.a We give thanks for those who have given so many years to speak for life in a place of death. One gentleman who is there quite often has been peacefully serving in the pro-life movement for over 30 years. His eyes give the appearance of defeat as he paces back and forth. His disheveled appearance adds to his age. I asked him if he ever feels discouraged. He tells me that every time he sees young people standing in front of this place of death he is energized.
As we go through this litany, I had a thought. I had noticed cars passing driving by the abortion facility. Some of the vehicles came and parked. As the protagonists exited the cars, they walked proudly, defiantly to the building. They didn’t say a word.
The building has no charm. It looks like a warehouse, but a busy one. Other folks park, look at us somewhat bemused by our skepticism about their decision. It’s as if we are ruining their perfect day. “Leave me the ___alone! This is none of your business,” he says. The man next to me looks at him and replies: “It is my business. That’s a human being your girlfriend has inside of her, and you are about to let some doctor kill him.” He flips him off. The veteran pro-lifer is not one bit discouraged. “Maybe he will meditate on what I said,” he tells me.
Another group of vehicles drives right by the clinic. They ride down to a cul-de-sac. They park away from people. Someone in the car is having second thoughts. They ponder for the last time whether this is the right decision. As we look, it feels like an eternity before the vehicle begins marching our way. We wait in silence uncertain about their decision. As they drive up the hill toward us, our only hope is for this car to keep going. They give an indication they are going to turn into the parking lot, and then suddenly the vehicle speeds away towards the main road; away from death.
But before we can even cheer several other cars come and join the others. The parking lot is getting full. The security guards smoke their cigarettes offering new-comers some instruction. They say people inside the building can hear the things we say outside, so I use my voice to project their way. “Lord, hear our prayer.” “For your steadfast love endures forever.” “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” “Hear us!”
These angels of life look at this generation and see a culture drunk with death. And though they have been at this life-saving business for decades, the battle continues. I hope by the end of their lives they might see the fruits of their labor. I know their labors are not in vain. Lord, have mercy!
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