Before getting into the bacon and eggs (as opposed to meat and potatoes (maybe I just finished cooking myself homemade bacon and egg english muffin sandwiches)) of this blog post, I originally intended to have a really good intro. You know, to help introduce this idea that I particularly inhale (translation: suck) at being pro-life. In the first draft of this blog post, I began to talk about how f___ing cold it was at the March For Life in Washington D.C. back in January of this year.
Lo, and behold! That ended up being its own separate blog post. #BloggerProbz Read it here, for it is technically my intro to this blog post.
And I’ll awkwardly pause for you to re-read that because it is important to know. (the ellipses following all link to the intro)
Like I said, I experienced different consolations for attending the March for Life. And again, the March for Life was actually just a particular event of a greater trip to Washington D.C., but the March itself was our primary purpose although we did get to experience other things. This year was pretty similar to my first time going back in 2013. This year I had a fantastic time, and going again really reminded me about the importance of continuing to defend the right to life of unborn human beings and behold the preciousness of life.
In recent years, I’ve grown to understand and appreciate the importance of responding to experiences. An example of that would be like my trip to Rio De Janeiro last year for World Youth Day. At the vigil the night before before the closing Mass, everyone was gathered at Copacabana Beach to hang out and pray with Pope Francis. There was a time when other members of the group that I went to Rio with and myself had to go use the facilities. The problem was, because there were a few million people squeezed into the Copacabana Beach and not really enough portable toilets, my group and I walked into a very crappy situation. You could smell the toilets from at least 50 feet away. The. worst. So at other points during that trip and whenever I returned back to the United States and attended large public events like air shows and festivals and had the need to go, I remembered that really crappy experience and respond with ecstatic joy knowing that over 9000+ other people didn’t use my chosen port-a-potty. I just need to remember to also respond with bringing hand sanitizer with me, too. x_x
Or another example would be trying a restaurant for the first time, liking it, then telling everyone about it. Because it was a good, enjoyable experience, I cannot help but tell the world that DeVivo’s is a good restaurant, even if their meatball sub received a bad review from one guy on Yelp.
I’m sure I can come up with other examples, but the basic idea is simple: experiencing different things evokes a response following such experiences. I can either respond or not respond with further action.
And that’s where I begin to inhale at being pro-life.
One does not simply experience the March for Life and not go do pro-life things afterwards. It’s a worthy, truthful cause because it does become a matter of life or death for those who cannot choose it for themselves. I mean, if you know any 10-week old human beings in the womb who can Chuck Norris their way out of getting sucked into a powerful vacuum that would suck their brains out or use knife hand blocks against scalpels attempting to cut them up during an abortion, I would love to meet them and blog about it. But otherwise, who will fight for them?
I would think that it should follow that after going to the March For Life, I should be more motivated to be more active in pro-life things. I mean, I distinctly remembered being rather motivated after going to the March. I remembered that I resolved to do more than what I was already doing. I remembered that this desire to help out in ways I could swelled all the more because of the March. I remembered that I’m not alone in this cause and it should be really easy for me to do stuff with the strength of others.
I have not done a good job with that at all this year, thus far.
Nevermind that I used to go pray in front of clinics and have actually saved a baby or two. Nevermind that I do, in fact, have some sidewalk counselor training and slight experience in the field. Nevermind that I have advocated and donated to a ministry that helps abortion clinic workers leave their clinics. Nevermind that I’ve helped make baby beds or raised money to help pregnant women in need. After the March for Life, I’ve not really continued to do any of these things. But after the March, I felt a fiery motivation to pick these up again and do more.
But I didn’t respond or follow through with resolutions after experiencing the March.
That’s why I inhale at being pro-life.
As I’m writing this, I’m trying to think of why I have so failed to respond. My only excuse is that I’ve been too busy since January. Sure, I’ve had some life transitions, and many other things going on, but that’s not a good enough of excuse (to me) to not continue what I’ve been doing for pro-life work. And then some.
But just because I haven’t responded with doing actual stuff doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about what I can and should do. Ok, maybe once I did go do my usual pray in front an abortion clinic but Everyone’s Favorite Name Brand Women’s “Health” Clinic was closed for the day because no abortionist was available. Still prayed though. Even then, I didn’t resolve to keep up with my usual frequency of praying in front of abortion clinics. I’ve only gone once since coming back from both of those marches.
However, one idea kept haunting me since January. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. My idea, which I’ve been hanging on to since January, never came to any sort of fruition. I never responded fully to this idea. My idea was this: I should help out the local pro-life pregnancy center that’s within my city’s limits! They’re close by, maybe they could use volunteers for help, and maybe I can donate my time, money, or supplies. I like this idea because it’s something I haven’t done before. I mean, if this guy can bring pro-life women’s health to the front steps of abortion clinics, then maybe I can not do anything as intense as that but perhaps bring myself to the front steps of a pregnancy center and help out with whatever I can.
Never did anything with it. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale.
Now. May, as in…month of.
One of my unofficial bros is a middle school youth minister for my parish. Nine months ago, he had a night teaching his middle schoolers about the importance of pro-life and why we are pro-life. Middle schoolers. That’s awesome! And as a way to make the importance real, he had them all spiritually adopt babies and name them. I’ve done that before. My first one’s name is Melody and my second one is RJ, but that was a year or two ago. Well, fast forward 9 months, and we are here in the month of May. They decided to have an end of the year party to celebrate not just the end of the year, but to celebrate the birthdays of their spiritually adopted babies because it’s been 9 months. How fitting! There were Coke floats, pizza and cake.
An aspect to this end of the year party was for the middle schoolers to bring baby supplies. Oh and get this! These supplies are going to be donated to the pregnancy center that I’ve been constantly thinking about since January! So when I heard that my Middle School Youth Minister Bro was doing this for that pregnancy center, I simply couldn’t resist. I was like…”chyessss!!!! FINALLY! An easy, achievable way for me to contribute!” And contribute, I did. Yes, because I’m single-but-hopeful-for-kids-one-day-but-striving-to-not-be-jealous, I still find it awkward to be in the baby supply aisles at Super Target. What do I get? What brand should I get? Would they need more diapers or wipes? Shampoo? Heck, I’ll get all three…
Mission success, awkwardness not-withstanding. I threw in my stuff along with the other baby supplies, and between the other adult volunteers and students, we have a nice pile of supplies to donate to that pregnancy center.
No, I don’t feel totally satisfied with this simple act of buying some stuff. I feel called to do more. Or maybe re-called to do the stuff that I used to do on a more consistent basis. I don’t know, but I need it to make sense for where I’m at right now in life. That doesn’t mean I’m compromising my position in any way regarding abortion. I’m just trying to figure out the best way for me to help out in a productive way. Maybe that means continuing to make awkward trips to Super Duper Awesome Target or Wal-Mart SuperDuperAwesomeCenter to pick up more supplies to donate. Maybe that means praying in front of abortion clinics again with more added emphasis on me sidewalk counseling because that’s totally uncomfortable for me. Maybe that means that I try to reach out to abortion clinic workers and literally try to help them find other jobs in case they harbor a conflicted heart because of the way they are applying their profession. Maybe that means actually, physically volunteering at that pregnancy center. The options are many. How can I still respond to my experiencing the March for Life (and the Rally for Life)? It’s not good enough for me to just experience these rallying moments for the movement without responding in kind.
I don’t want to inhale at being pro-life. As a man, I want to be heroic at it because it’s so totally worth fighting for saving lives. Maybe not necessarily in the biggest ways, but at least in the trivial ways. It’s not easy. It’s going to inhale. Not everyone is necessarily a friend of pro-life work. It makes me uncomfortable. It’s not going to be convenient. I’m already hated for doing this or even desiring to do this. And I’m okay with that. Challenge accepted.
Ponder this more, I will. Then action, will I do. I just need to…