They marched in freezing temperatures with a blizzard fast approaching. Washington D.C. was closed down – transportation systems crippled. There were fewer valiant witnesses to the Pro-Life plea than in previous years, yet their hearts burned with the love of life and of God.
And it was perhaps the fire within them that I saw in the photos of the tens of thousands gathered in our nation’s capitol, to march to the steps of the Supreme Court. In the dark of winter they carried their flaming hearts, lighting the way, reminding the world to see what we have done and are doing to our nation.
It is difficult to see in a storm, and a blizzard is blinding. But these valiant marchers represented the majority of Americans who do not believe abortion on demand should be the law of the land. They represented the forty-three million unborn children murdered, a massive genocide. Their crime, these little ones? Wanting to live.
I am thankful these protesters gave witness. Abortion is like the elephant in the room, only it is an elephant in our nation, avoided, not spoken of in polite society. Those of us who can see the elephant can no longer turn away and pretend it’s not there. We cannot say that taking innocent human life is a choice, a right, in a civilized world. Recently it seems that our laws protect those who break them, yet do not protect the innocent, the least of us, the most vulnerable, the unborn.
There will be a judgment one day, a day when each of us will stand before God in His brilliant all-seeing light. We shall answer for our lives. We will be judged, essentially, on how well we have loved one another, on whether we loved life more than death, loved others more than ourselves. God does win in the end, and he is a loving God, desiring us to love, commanding us to love.
The annual March for Life is held on or near January 22, the day of the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade. It is a wintry time, when light is less. But the days are lengthening, and soon we will enter the Lenten Season to prepare our hearts for Easter. Lent means lengthening, a stretching of the light to shrink the dark. And so our nation, in the cold of winter, tries to see a way forward in today’s blizzard of choice. Our nation needs to lengthen the light and shrink the dark.
January 22 borders deep winter and early spring. In the Church we have been celebrating Epiphany, a starry season of light and seeing, of manifestations of God become man, when Eternity intersected Time. Epiphanytide is short this year, two Sundays, so that today we suddenly find ourselves in Pre-Lent, three Sundays before Ash Wednesday. We prepare our hearts for Easter, and in the discipline of fast, prayer, and sacrifice, we shed light on our own lives so that we can repent and move toward the light of God’s love once again, so that we can truly see the resurrected Christ and partake of his resurrection. During Lent we confess our unlove, the selfishness that hardens our own hearts, and that hardens the heart of America.
Our nation, in this election year, is also called to choose light over darkness, life over death. Our country is called to repent, to change. As we cast our votes we become part of our culture, be it one of life or death, and we become responsible for its law. Each of us will one day account for the vote we cast, the part we played in creating those laws. As a conservative in California, my vote doesn’t seem to make a difference in the electoral system. But I know it does. God counts my vote, and it lessens my culpability in the ongoing genocide of our next generation, a genocide that averages a million babies a year, forty-three million lives in the last forty-three years.
We hear that women want to “own” their bodies. They want to fulfill their dreams. Such ownership of another person is slavery. Dreams are not fulfilled through such ownership. Such dreams, built on such a lie, are nightmares. President Lincoln and Dr. King knew this. Such nightmares lead to suicide; such lies will kill America.
We must pray for our country, for this lie lives in our law. It is said the tide is turning, that eighty percent of Americans now favor restrictions on abortion; two-thirds of those are “pro-choice.” As we enter this time of choosing our leaders let us choose those who will work to redeem our culture, so that America can once again be a beacon of light to a darkening world.
As we step into Lent, we must pray for light and life. We must fan the flames of love in order to see our way to Easter.