40 Days for Life

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Abortion Clinic Prayer Vigil

As part of 40 Days for Life, a group I’m in on Campus (Concordia Students for Life) went to an abortion clinic that was shockingly close. I’ll be discussing the experience, and there are a few photos:

When we first arrived on site, there was a man there to talk to us about what we could/could not do, where we could go, etc. It was late evening, so it was closed, but two employees drove by us while we were talking to the man. One of them had her hand over her mouth as she drove past. Not sure what she might have been saying/thinking but I hope that it may have been sorrow or regret of some kind. The man who was there told us about just talking to people, a couple stories, etc. The most striking thing though was him talking about the “medical waste” trucks that would come and take the “waste.” It’s disgusting… discarded babies, hauled as “waste.”

Once the man left, we stood in a circle and prayed. Then we sang some songs, just pieces of hymns or praise songs that we could remember. Then we separated and prayed individually.

The setting was so perfect. It was raining, freezing cold, and dark as sin. It was so striking to think of my previous thoughts on the notion of suffering and how God understands human suffering. Thinking of the rain as God’s tears… and thinking about the fact that just days before we drew 3200 hearts in chalk on the pavement outside the chapel to show the number of hearts each day that are never allowed to love. Those hearts were being washed away at the end of the day, just as the hearts they’d represented had been extinguished that entire day (several of us had this same thought). But we were there to protest, we were there to pray, to ask for forgiveness, and to acknowledge the Redeemer.

It was a truly powerful experience. There is an air about the place, a spiritual kind of malevolence. The moment I stepped onto the general property, I could feel it. I immediately teared up. What could I say? What prayer could I offer? I simply repeated a version of the Kyrie (“Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on us”) the entire time as I prayed with emotions and thoughts, not words, just feelings. What kind of atrocity have we allowed? Will my generation stand against this? I pray it shall be so.

Most striking to me is the difference between just talking about abortion from an impersonal perspective and being at a clinic where I could feel the effects. I’m not trying to say it’s not worth trying to debate abortion from an objective standpoint, but it is so much more real than that (see here for my own arguments against abortion). It’s not something that’s just an interesting topic, but it is a matter of life and death, and it’s a matter of life on death on a huge scale. Several thousand a day in U.S.A. alone. What kind of happiness are we pursuing when we murder the innocent? It speaks volumes about our values that a “choice” is valued above a life. We have become such pragmatists that we can turn a blind eye to the massacre next door. It’s disgusting.

We can’t claim to care about freedom or justice or liberty and deprive thousands of people of their lives each day. It’s horrible. And the only response I can muster, the only prayer I can utter is “Lord have mercy on us.”

There are a couple pictures below.

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