Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 22 - what's in a sign?

My sign is home made - on light blue poster board. 
Signs can be a tender subject, can't they?  There is only room enough for a few carefully chosen words - that can be so easily misunderstood...
It's becoming my new question... What would the perfect sign say? 
Here are some thoughts from our spring vigil when i first became convinced that i needed some way to communicate.....


you are loved

& i can't believe the 40 days are counting themselves to their end.
The sun was shining - & the sky was deceivingly blue, considering the chill in the late morning air.
& i brought a sign.
An incident the other day convinced me i needed a mode of communication.
A woman exited the clinic and walked to the bus stop. A patient? An employee? i don't know... As she wandered back and forth along the sidewalk across the street from us, she couldn't tear her eyes from us - & i wished desperately in that moment to be understood...
i stopped at the dollar store on the way home and bought a single sheet of poster board and 2 black felt tip markers.
But then my perfectionism reared it's ugly head and i couldn't figure out just the right words to put on that paper to convey my heart... so the poster board sat - behind the sofa until just before my friend came to pick me up today.
& i thought for a moment - "Ah, who needs a sign anyway - it just makes people mad..."
But then i thought of the woman - looking at me across the street curiously - and i slammed the paper on the table & wrote carefully in block letters;
"You are loved"
Maybe the love of a stranger from across the street is meaningless - but could i trust my Father to let them know the unceasing well of HIS love is big enough to conquer any current crisis?
Running out of time, i flipped the paper - crumbs flying off the table as i wrote, "Life is a gift".


i brought my sign again the next time i went to the clinic.
It turned out to be a day of conversations.
Sweet Vera who needed someone to listen. She showed us her antique rosary - and cried as she told us her children had said they would never make her a grandmother.
And then there was Kayla - who first yelled at us from her car, and then pulled over to have a more peaceful conversation.
As we drove home, the words that i had spoken had already dimmed in my memory, though my friend told me i said good things... But what had stayed with me were Kayla's words. She told us that her friends who had gone through abortions felt bad enough. She said they were filled with guilt and would carry that sorrow for the rest of their lives. She felt that our silence - our closing our eyes to their anguish - would be more compassionate.
"But... that's the reason we're there... isn't it? To even then, give them a chance to avoid that future - and in case that fails, to tell them they are loved?" My friend suggested.
And my heart can't help but agree.


If you carried a sign, what would it say? 


  1. I like..."Life is Precious." But I can't stop thinking about what Harold said...."Killing the innocent." It's more hardcore but something I think we need that makes us think. It's too easy to avoid thoughts about what we're really doing.

  2. oops. "sometimes I think we need something that makes us think."