Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Marching Vicariously for Life

Unable to attend a march myself this year, I watched the coverage on EWTN intently. It had to be on EWTN, since no one else in the media saw fit to give the 2005 March for Life much attention, before or after. Shame on them. More than 100,000 people marched through Washington, D.C., and I had to dig to find any news reports. For first hand accounts and photos, don’t miss the After Abortion blog (link at right).

Signs of Life in the Crowd:

Ave Maria School of Law

Franciscan University of Stubenville

Nashville Cathedral of the Incarnation

Christendom College

I Regret My Abortion

This last sign was trembling, as if in a strong wind, and then I noticed the hands that held it were trembling, too. Suddenly I realized that I was also trembling. I saw more of these signs, many of which were quivering gently. As the prayer began, the signs steadied, and these heads bowed and nodded. They closed their eyes, and felt the words.

No one else mattered to me. I could see only the women on stage carrying the black signs of mourning. “I Regret My Abortion;” “My Abortion Hurt Me.” I wanted to be with them even though just watching on my living room couch was bringing me to tears. I broke down completely just as the information scroll was telling me, “If you are suffering because of an abortion, call 1-800-5-WE CARE.” How ironic.

I saw my reflection on the stage: a woman about my own age, holding her sign with white knuckles. She was smiling, and crying. In her expression was a range of emotions impossibly melding together in one sweet face. She grieved, as I could see in the deeply-etched lines furrowing her brow. Her eyes were strained, red, and swollen with tears. But there was that brave smile, her courage shining through in spite of the sorrow. She didn’t want to have to be there, but she was. She was there for us. She was there in my place, wearing my expression.

But through the sorrow and woe, there was a glimmer of hope in her eyes. Hope. She will never stop grieving, but she has found something that gives her hope anyway. Perhaps it is just this march – perhaps she finds hope in the people who are embracing her, guilt, pain and all. Hope in the Lord, whose mercy is boundless. Hope that her sacrifice this day will make recompense for whatever sacrifices she did not make at an earlier time in her life.

I wanted to be with her. Every thing I felt was written on her face.

May God bless all of the Silent No More women who took up their signs and their courage, and showed us their wounded hearts.


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