The March For Life 2013

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I’m trying to remember back a few years to when I decided to go to the March For Life for the first time.

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The exact memory of how I came to decide to go eludes me now. I’m searching through the fragments of what’s left of the brain I was working with four or five years ago. I find there’s not much to go on, so maybe I should shift gears and get my head back to the present.

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I know what I feel now. I feel called to be there. I’m not going to compare it to discerning a religious vocation, and I don’t think it’s just me deciding to enhance my Pro-Life persona. God has put a desire in my heart.

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I don’t think the March is a particularly courageous thing to do. It’s very enoyable to meet up with like-minded folks and see friends and relatives I don’t normally get to spend any time with. I find I like to travel, with DC and the surrounding area having lots of interesting stuff to see.

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I think that God has prompted me to do something good. I don’t think I need to read more into it than that. And when I looked around at the people I marched with, I saw I wasn’t the only one He has touched.

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And for all of us, we are a People of Life. That is our calling.

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Making It Personal: March For Life 2012

Blessed Is The Fruit Of Your Womb

On a cold and rainy Monday, we took the train to Chinatown, walked a couple of blocks, and then sloshed through the mud to find a place to stand. We tried, sometimes in vain, to hear the politicans and other speakers that were yelling over the PA system. They all said stuff I have heard before. After that, we began walking. And then we stopped. And then we started again as the mass of Marchers clogged and unclogged the street. We Marched up the hill, past the vans and cars, the chanting and dancing people, the speakers blaring music, the big digital billboard of aborted fetuses and up towards the Capitol building. My back hurt. I was cold. I whined. My feet were wet.

Rainy Cold Monday

On the upside, post-march we had found a nice warm sports bar. We inhaled the food and the beer that goes with such a place, and I was just glad to be inside. It was a long and tiring afternoon. As we started to head back to the train to go home, I was rested enough to have a thought- Really…the March was over and what did I accomplish today? Anything? I surmised, as in previous years, this year’s March was going to be pretty much ignored by the popular media. Heck, I was even recently accused of being Pro-Life “once a year” by someone on “my side”. Is that what this was about? Was that the reason I drove from Cincinnati? Was this just a once a year show, just so I can say I was there?

Motherhood and Childhood

Of course, I then rediscovered that my reason for attending the 2012 March for Life is because I have a personal problem. I have a deeply-rooted personal problem with the destruction of babies. My church and my and heart and mind daily tell me that it is wrong to kill an innocent human person. It is wrong to legalize and institutionalize the killings of innocent human persons. Therefore, I have to go. I can’t not go. At the March, you are surrounded by people who similarly motivated. Yes, it is fun to take a road trip. Yes, it is wonderful to meet up with friends from all over the country. And Yes, it is important to go get your person out there and spend your life affirming Life. Babies cannot speak for themselves, so adults make the Life position known on their behalf, even though it’s cold and rainy and the back hurts.

A Collection of Life-Loving Persons

The March fo Life in DC is once a year. It is important for you to be able to tell people that you were there. Go. Go and say when you had the opportunity, you Marched. Tell your friends, your children, your enemies, your family, your coworkers and the guy sittin’ next to you on the bus. Tell them you did not accept what was going on an you said something about it. And you said to the persons who could do something about it in the place where they do their somethings. Then go do it next year. Make it personal.

“Is That Your Car?” – A Pro-Life Story

I remember back to one day shortly after I had got my driver’s license… I was 16 or 17 at the time, and I was driving around in the family station wagon (I did not have my own car) and I stopped at a gas station to get some gas. The thing about the station wagon, dubbed “The Silver Bullet” by the kids in my family, was that it had this conspiculously bright yellow Pro-Life bumper sticker on the back. My mother is a Pro-Lifer and had stuck it on there. I do not remember exactly what it said, but I do remember that it had some black “stickish” figures of a person or persons on it along with a Pro-Life message.   

Being a shy and self-conscious teenager I was very aware of how I looked while I was dispensing the gas. This self-assessment included concern about what I was wearing, what I was driving, how my hair was combed and what kind of general appearance I made. As long as I looked OK to The Rest Of The World and didn’t have to venture outside my comfort zone (being left alone), everything was cool. Such is the attitude of a introverted teenage boy. 

Well…Life happened when another random teenage male walked past. This was a violation of my circle of shyness, but if he ignored me and went on his way, it would be no big deal. I remember he appeared to be roughly my age, was wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, and had a mop top for a head of hair. He paused by the back of The Silver Bullet and looked at it and me. 

“Is that your car?” He asked. 

I was mortified.  

I was not prepared to answer such a challenge. Not only did I not want anyone to talk to me, I did not want to have to explain the loud yellow Pro-Life bumper sticker staring him in the face, which was the reason I was certain he stopped. Why else would he care? Why was this strange person confronting me? I was frozen for an moment. (♫ Sometimes, I freeeeeeeeze ♫)

 I stammered: “No”

 Technically, I was correct. I did not own this verhicle.

 Another moment passed and I think he could tell that I was not going to offer anything further, so he kept walking. I never saw him again.

 I was kind of in a daze the rest of the day, reflecting on what had transpired at the gas station. I knew something had gone wrong. Who was that intruder? Why did he hassle me? Was he an angel or a devil sent to test me? Agonizing over these thoughts seems odd today, looking back, but they repeated themselves over and over in my mind for a long time.

 It’s strange sometimes, the things we remember after so many years. I can only say today that the incident moved me. Someone had asked a simple question of a nobody teenage boy because of the bumper sticker on “his” car, and he did not have the recources or faculties to explain who he was or what he was doing or why he was driving around in a station wagon with a Pro-Life bumper sticker.  

 Ten seconds at a gas station had subtly but irrevocably shifted everything. It’s now like a reference point as to when I began to understand what being a Pro-Lifer was about. I needed to be able to communicate the things my mother had introduced me to and taught me about. Who am I? What is Pro-Life? Why am I doing what I am doing? Someone was going to be asking.

 Andrew