As I sat on the bus waiting for my fingers and toes to warm up after 3 ½ hours of standing and walking outside on the streets of Washington D.C., I reflected on what an amazing experience the March for Life was for me.
Bundled under 5 layers of clothing and equipped with toe warmers in our boots and hand warmers in our mittens, we were ready.
Our first stop was the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to join thousands of others for Mass. The Mass at this location and all the others taking place that morning was akin to the largest 40 Days for Life event in the USA. Just having that many people joined in prayer for one specific need is effective. Prayer changes hearts, first our own.
The crowd was predominantly teenagers and young adults. They were cold, but joyful, positive and focused.
The speakers added a new emphasis this year – help others to consider the option of adoption. A member of the House shared the joy of being able to adopt a child, a woman who had an abortion as a college student and was left sterile by it shared her deep gratitude for the sacrifice and courage of the woman who allowed her to adopt her child. A young man shared his gratitude for his birth mother for choosing life and to his adoptive parents for choosing and loving him.
This new focus is something the participants could take home with them. The front lines of the fight against abortion are now in college dorm rooms and in the homes of their friends. A simple home pregnancy test and the morning after pill are obtainable over-the-counter. Friends who are fearful might turn to them for advice. Here is their chance to give witness to what they have learned. Along with scientific evidence of how destructive this choice is to the child and the mother, they can offer them hope and an alternative, adoption.
While we marched youth joyfully sang Christian songs or ProLife parodies or chanted cheers: “♪Go tell it to the Congress, Senate and House and everywhere. Go tell it to the Congress that babies must be born! ♪” “We love babies, yes we do, we love babies how ‘bout you!” (This chant was echoed at one point by a group standing on a balcony of a federal building.)
The older gentleman who was our bus driver was also deeply moved by the youth on our bus. He said he noticed their prayerful spirit and was moved by the powerful reflections they shared about their experience over the speaker system on the bus after the March. He also affirmed the power of youth to speak out on behalf of noble causes like this. “Never say you are too young to make a difference!”
Just before we got off the bus one college student said that she hoped to see us next year, IF it is necessary.
So, IF it is necessary, who wants to march with me next year? Circle the date: January 22, 2015. If you’ll walk with me, I’ll bring the toe warmers for your boots!