Monday, September 29, 2014

the longest hour

Knowing that I will be peacefully demonstrating for yet another year on First Ave makes me crabby. I am not inclined to  make a spectacle of wear a sign that says 'Pray to end abortion', while praying the rosary, on the scariest street in Duluth....alone!  It is so far from my comfort zone ...but as they say... 'Just do it! And so I do.
The worst part is that I've been doing it for years. It  is the hardest thing I do all year...a rally or march is more appealing. The 40 days prayer vigil comes on the tail end of the northern edition of our year, just before we  head south, where I'm much  lazier and less vocal...kinda.
This campaign is meant to be done in groups or at least pairs, but most people can find a million reasons not to participate...I can relate and am hesitant to put any one on the spot..hence...
The cheese stands alone
The cold fall climate reminds me of the chilling business going on inside  as I walk back and forth in front of  the "Building for Women." 
About half the people who walk by keep their eyes cast down, avoiding any provocation...we are not there to proselytize...thank goodness. 
Occasionally a nearby resident will mosey onto the sidewalk from his or her nearby  apartment  or halfway house and meander over to where I am and chat about how they are against abortion, ask me to say a prayer with them and then amble on to the next stop in their on, and on, and on life. The fellow that stopped by today, smelled of cigarettes, had a cane and shared with me  where he was from, about his military service, where he lived and where he had lived. Finally he declared, "the group of four that was here yesterday prayed for me."  I asked him what prayer he wanted to say....I obliged him and together we said a Hail Mary before he shuffled off.  These close encounters always stir up some deep, almost meditative thought  within my heart and soul.  I'm almost positive he didn't  give me a second thought.
Across the street is a very busy liquor store where folks come to shop  at 11 o'clock  in the morning. Sometimes they arrive in a cab, but are usually on foot, most often with a friend or two...they all seem to know each other...people need people. One time several years ago one of the liquor store patrons  yelled over to us  "Pray? Here's a prayer for you"... and  proceeded to "moon" us. What a guy! 
The honkers always  buoy our spirits, so do the smiles and the thumbs up...other digits.. not so much. From time to time a passer by  will make eye contact and smile while  quietly affirming ,"You are doing the right thing."
There is a little sticker on the window of the abortion mill that says 'Keep abortion safe and legal"...I wonder at that's not safe for the baby!  It is  a sad day when  a woman can be so desperate that she will kill her own child, but it is worse  when we will  accommodate her desperation with such a despicable act. 
We mourn the babies and sympathize with the moms...they, too, will mourn someday.

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