What if your blessings come through raindrops?
The number of blessings, life changing experiences, and good laugh sessions this summer have been countless. Sure there are times when living in close quarters gets hard, and stress levels rise. But those things that challenge us are the ones that change and affect us the most and often in the best ways. And sometimes those blessings and realizations along the way come in the most unexpected ways.
Yesterday we prayed outside of a Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Unlike the location of other clinics we have been at which were mostly on busy street corners, this one was tucked away into a calmer, more peaceful area. We could hear ourselves praying the rosary aloud, and the escorts on the other side of the parking lot could most likely hear us as well. If it weren’t for their presence, it would be hard to remember the evil that was occurring right inside the building. As we joined a few others who were already praying I noticed artwork on the street. Drawn in chalk was a very simple display of love: a cross and a heart. How beautiful, how powerful, how perfect. A heart and cross to remind each and every person driving into the clinic that there is someone who loves them endlessly, someone who loves their unborn child endlessly, a reminder that they are not alone.
Midway through our first rosary one of the escorts walked over towards our group with a jug of water. The sun was out and it was a warm day, and initially I was shocked, was he going to be so kind as to offer those on the “other side of the fence” some water? But he stopped walking when he reached the chalk drawing and poured the gallon of water right on the beautiful display of love. The water washed away the cross and heart and dripped along the slope of the pavement just as the tears dripped down my face. It all became so real then. That small act of removing the simple artwork paralleled what was happening behind the doors of that very building. That escort tried to wash away, destroy, remove something that was a symbol of love, something that was inconvenient and annoying to him. Likewise women entered that very clinic carrying something that is the most precious symbol of God’s love, new life, but they view it instead as something that is in the way, something that they don’t want to face or deal with. And abortion “washes away” the “annoyance” just as the water washed away the chalk.
But as we continued to pray, the water dried. And remnants of the cross and heart revealed themselves. By the time we were leaving there were several sticks of chalk being passed around and pro-life graffiti soon adorned the street surrounding the clinic. God’s love prevailed once again. God gave us this small chalk wars victory at the perfect time. As we are nearing the last few weeks of the walk it is easy to forget at times exactly why we are walking. But God gave us hope today. Hope that one day all the prayers and all the sacrifices will lead to an end of all the evil and hurt that abortion brings. It is now so clear that I am not walking for myself, no one is. And most importantly no one is walking alone. Every single person that has been praying for us, every single person that has given us a dollar for food, every single person that has given an enthusiastic wave as they drive past in their car, every host family, every single priest we’ve encountered, they are all walking alongside us. They are the ones who allow us to run those last few miles of the shift after we are sure that we cannot go another step. And as crazy as it seems, every woman and even every man that walks into an abortion clinic is walking with us. As much as we would like to think we are walking for them, every scared woman who is looking for someone to turn to is walking with us every step of the way, simply because God knows the deepest desires of her heart. We are all one in the Mystical Body of Christ and as she cries out for help, we walk together.
Thank you all for the endless amount of prayers and support!
Northern Walk 2011