The lives we'll never know

By Christian Naggar

One of the projects that the CCBR interns participate in is standing roadside banner. The project involves holding large signs with images of aborted children on them by the side of the road, rain or shine. We seldom have a chance to engage in conversation with people driving or walking by, so, needless to say, this is not one of our favourite projects to take part in.

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Towards the end of my first standing roadside banner, a woman and her teenaged daughter approached me. I braced myself for a verbal thrashing about how awful I was to be holding up such an image in a public place. As the woman stopped in front of my sign, however, the determined demeanour that carried her as she walked over faded into a weak and broken smile. She asked my partner and I to turn the image of the slaughtered child so that her daughter could see it. “That’s what they do, they chop up babies,” she said, almost too quietly for us to hear. The young girl looked disturbed, as anybody with a functional conscience should, and held her abdomen. The woman turned to us again, smiled, mouthed ‘thank you,’ and walked away with her arm around her child’s shoulder.

Stories like this can be far and few in between. I haven't had a testimony that powerful to share in several weeks and may not have one like it for many more. However, we continue to run projects like standing roadside banner and we continue to postcard and we continue to visit campuses where we often feel like we’re speaking to brick walls. Why do we continue to run these projects that can leave us discouraged, exasperated, and burnt out? We do so because the saved lives we hear about, while wonderful, are not the only ones that matter. I am overjoyed that I got to witness a mother stand up for her pre-born grandchild, but we must remember that she could have just as easily pointed out the images from her car as she drove by with her daughter. Both scenarios would have saved a life. We must remember that there may be hundreds of lives, perhaps even thousands, that have been saved because of the images of the broken bodies of children, lives saved that we will never know about. Saved children who will grow up, experience the joys and sorrows of life, feel love, have hope, and have children of their own. Countless generations, some of which we may pass on the street one day, will be spared death without any sort of fanfare. That is why we must labour on through minor inconveniences and annoyances: not only for the stories we hear about and celebrate, but also for the lives we’ll never know.