Martin arrives to pray after i've been there alone for about 20 minutes. He's a cancer survivor who arranges his bus schedule so that he can stop and pray for an hour on his way home from the gym.
It's not a friendly afternoon.
i wonder if it's the subconscious hum of what has been happening politically in Canada with the abortion debate - but people seem more aware and sometimes it seems to draw anger.
Martin is friendly though, and gives only the smallest grin at the surprisingly loud and long lecture he receives from a man driving by in his vehicle. As the man passes me, he almost shrieks, "DID HE TALK YOU INTO COMING HERE??!!"
i have to smile.
Martin is definitely in the minority being a man who comes to pray at our vigil. It is mostly deeply, passionate prolife *women* - who come here to pray. Many - maybe most - of us have borne children of our own, and this perspective makes us especially tender to the plight of the little ones losing their lives in the Kensington abortion clinic across the street. Some of us have held our own miscarried babies in our hands, and marvelled at the Creation of a Holy God - and been forever awakened to what it really means to have an abortion - having held our own much loved, longed for children in our hands at the exact stages of pregnancy that they're being killed across the street. What a funny assumption that i, a woman, would be unable to recognize injustice on my own...
Martin seems to take unfriendliness in stride, so i decide to too.
i want to talk to the woman who waits till she passes us and then yells, "Get a life!" It is precisely because i *have* a life that i am unable to remain silent over the senseless taking of it.
i wish for the opportunity to engage, to explain and to defend - but sometimes, our community outreach involves only replying with a smile and a nod - sometimes it involves being willing to wear a sign, and go out of our way to take a bus to 5th Avenue instead of heading straight home. Sometimes it involves letting rosy cheeked little ones play in the park for an hour while mama prays.
Always - with 40 Days for Life - community outreach involves prayer and a willingness to humble ourselves as we ask God to bring about change.