Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reflections from the March

Parades were never my thing. Crowds are just too difficult.

"I have separation anxiety," I laughingly say to my family and friends if we are out together. On a trip to the mall or even a very large store, I like to have a designated meeting place, and am grateful for the invention of cell phones.

Yet, here I was in Washington D.C., with our group of eight, in the midst of tens of thousands of people. We were four adults and four young people. Two of the young people were not ours. One of them I had never met before. And she was my angel because she took my arm as we struggled through the crowds. It gave me a feeling of security. As I said to her with a smile, "I have one less person to worry about." I always wondered if she, or Someone who sent her, wanted me to feel more secure, as well as her. And her having my arm probably helped keep me from falling when I'd turn around while walking, in order to count heads.

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight," just like counting the family, when we used to go to amusement parks...except there were more people surrounding us, and this was no more an amusement park than it was a parade.

Yet, it was more exciting and more fulfilling than going on a pleasure day. Here were all these people. Some were elderly; some had chronic health conditions. Some were young and healthy, but all were offering up various things to be there: the cold, tiredness, fear of crowds. But we soon forgot all that. We were here for the babies, for life, for God's right to give life where He will.

Reminders of our purpose were everywhere. Banners and posters held high, people of all ages and walks of life marched, ambled, squeezed through the throngs, pleasantly, optimistically, but with a purpose.

“N.Y. Rabbis for Life” one man’s sign said, and the woman next to him had a sign, “Jewish Women for Life”.

“Lutherans for Life” read another banner nearby.

Nuns and priests appeared frequently, scattered through the crowds.

A man in a Harley Davidson jacket and bandana explained his stand to a cameraman.

Scores of people walked with black signs stating, “I Regret My Abortion”. When we found ourselves in the midst of them, one of them gently suggested we might want to veer off, out of their group. They had such kindly smiles for us as we moved off to the left, closer to the schools and other families and homeschoolers.

The greatest numbers seemed to be the young people, especially high school and college students, who waved their signs, chanted, sang, full of hope, full of a love for live - their lives and the lives of others. And that, after all, is what it’s all about: our young people, and hope, and love.


Mary Poppins NOT said...

Hi Margaret Mary! I had sort of lost track of you for a while! My eldest son was at the march, and was quite excited to see all the people. Hope all is well with you!

Leticia said...

It's the young people who give me the most hope, Margaret Mary. They remind me that this movement isn't going away, no matter whom the media sides with!