Yesterday, I participated in Life Chain Sunday. This is a silent hour of prayer near a high-traffic road, where Pro-Lifers hold signs and stand in quiet meditation.
I've been a part of the Life Chain for several years, but this was the first time up near my new house, with my new parish. There were fewer people, and it was a more rural area where we stood. We did receive many "approval" beeps and waves.
But we also became victims of hate. As a steady flow of cars traveled across the road from us, one of them slowed down almost to a complete stop, leaned on her horn, rolled down her window, and gave us the finger as she continued driving by slowly - a look of pure hatred on her face.
All I could think was how incredibly paradoxical this was. I held my "Adoption: The Loving Option" sign tight against my chest, and high under my chin, as I fought back tears. Here I was, at any moment about to start my period, yearning for life to bless my womb, and knowing another cycle had passed, completely barren.
This woman's knee-jerk reaction to our silent witness was obviously not about us. Our signs that read, "Life: The Unalienable Right" and "Abortion Hurts Women," and "Pray for an End to Abortion," while controversial (because anything involving abortion is controversial), were hardly offensive. Our group of elderly women, middle-aged couples, myself, teenage girls, and children ages 5-11, were hardly threatening. This woman was reacting to something much bigger than us. All I could do was immediately turn my hurt and anguish into prayers for her.
I realize there are people on the "fringe" of both sides. Abortion mill bombers, for example, are hardly speaking for the true Pro-Life community. But this case was not, in my opinion, a "fringe" pro-choicer. I believe she, in her minivan, represents the way most Pro-Choicers tend to react to us. Disdain, disgust, and yes, even hatred. And I can put myself in their shoes and see why they would feel that way. They believe our cause is based in a lie (of when life begins), and it is putting women in danger.
But I wonder, if I can put myself in their shoes so easily, why can they not see things from our perspective? Even without agreeing with us, can they not see why we feel so passionately about our cause? As misguided as they believe us to be, could they honestly not understand why we feel it is our duty to stand outside in 48 degree weather and silently pray for an end to abortion?
If I had seen a group of Pro-Choicers holding signs, even if their signs said things I thought to be ludicrous, like, "Pregnancy Hurts Women," or "Abortion: The Only Option," I just cannot fathom leaning on my horn and flipping them off. Especially with young children amongst them!
And so, I did something I used to do years ago. I offered my failed cycle (Cycle #65, or somewhere in that ballpark) for life. I asked God to take the soul who was not embodied in my womb, and to place it instead into a woman who would choose LIFE for her child. I offered my infertility for an end to abortion, and an end to hate.
I ask those of you suffering with this cross at this time to do the same.