Refusing To Live in Fear
It is easy to get lost in the language of “rights”, and forget what a right to life really means. It’s not some vague privilege that we all happen to have that entitles us to breathe—it’s the intrinsic respect we have for the given-ness of a self, a person. And how many things comprise a person’s life! The 3500 babies that died today will never see the immense beauty of the flat-bottomed clouds merging in to the horizon, as the road rolls through empty stretches of brush and wildflowers. The exhilaration of standing on a mountaintop will never be theirs; nor will the joy of meeting new people, nor sharing memories with old friends. The right to life is a right to beauty, to experience, to love.
Which means, of course, that to be “PRO LIFE” is to not just verbally assert the dignity of the human person, or vote against abortion on a ballot, or even to pray in front of an abortion clinic, but to live joyfully, and embrace the full glory of the world—most of all the crown of Creation, man. The funny old poet that says he wants to “live by the side of the road and be a friend to man” had the right instinct—and it is by walking on the side of the road that I have seen this. The only way to counter fear, and the vast aching hurts caused by abortion, is with joy. I thought walking across the country with ten others would be about enduring pain, living with people I didn’t necessarily get along with, and trying to wake myself and others up to what abortion is, and the fact that something must be done about it. But it turns out that the only activism here is the activity of living with the awareness that Christ has risen and fixed the brokenness of death all the way down; and of letting that life be public, on the street side, for a few months.
Crossroads, then, is merely a refusal to live in fear, to give up the day-to-day worries of life and abandon ourselves purely to the ebb and flow of God’s plan. Every day is truly a deepening of what it means to live well; what it means to be near to God, both through the natural beauty of our country, and the supernatural beauty of her people. For that reason, whenever someone who gives us a donation after Mass thanks us for our work, I want to say “no, thank you!” Thank you for enabling me to open myself to the love of Christ, and the life He has given me.