It’s 5:30AM. My alarm clock goes off. Groggily, I turn it off and roll out of bed. It’s time to get up, go out, and start working to save babies.
An hour later finds me driving to today’s postcarding location. I chat with Kim—one of our summer interns—about each other’s weekends. It crosses my mind how if it wasn’t for this awful issue of abortion, I probably never would have met Kim.
I hate abortion—but I’m glad I know Kim.
We get out of the car, grab stacks of postcards, maps, and a pen to mark off where we’ve been, and we set out. I walk up to the mailbox of the first house and put the postcard in. Back to the street and then up a second driveway. Up and down, up and down, back and forth, back and forth, spreading the truth. It’s a bloody, gory, awful truth, but it’s truth nonetheless, and that’s why we spread it. People need to know. Babies’ lives depend on it.
As we enter one neighbourhood, children start coming out of their homes. Boys and girls, sleepy-eyed and yawning, lugging backpacks that seem almost as big as they are.
“Why did you leave this here?” a woman asks us as she stares at the postcard that was just left in her mailbox. I give her a quick answer about raising awareness for a human rights violation and continue on my way. I watch the children trudge to the bus stop, the number of them growing.
We’re here because there should be more of them, I think to myself. For every three children walking to the bus stop there should be one more. I imagine a fourth child for every three and am struck by how those children did exist—they were just killed before they had a chance to wait for the bus on a sleepy weekday morning.
Kim and I make our way to the next neighbourhood. This one has long rows of townhouses, each with a tall set of stairs. We start running so we can get the misery of stairs over with. Up and down, in and out, like some kind of choreographed dance. We run away from each other, up a flight of steps, then drop a postcard and hurry on down. We make eye contact, smile, and then run back up a flight of stairs to drop another postcard. I can’t help wishing for superhero powers. If only we could bound in a single leap from mailbox to mailbox. However, I’m not a superhero, and neither is Kim, so we just keep going.
Several hundred houses later and we meet up with the rest of our team. Next on the schedule is “Choice” Chain; here, we hold signs showing abortion and engage pedestrians in conversation. Afterwards, we debrief as a team, sharing conversations that culminated in changed hearts and minds. It’s always encouraging getting to talk to a culture and to watch people shift their views on abortion. It’s encouraging to be with so many young people who are a part of making that change.
At the end of the day we unpack our supplies and everyone heads off to their own homes. I’m about to go home myself when I hear something. Back in the room where we keep our supplies, on the floor amidst scattered postcards, I see Kim, crying. I sit down, put my arm around her, and stay. She keeps crying.
Finally, words. “Whose idea was this?” she sobs. Now I’m crying too. “Whose idea was it to kill babies?”
We sit. We cry. We look at the postcards around us and think of all the babies who died today. Just two girls, surrounded by so much evil, so much death. Afterwards, I can’t remember exactly what else we said to each other, just that there was brokenness, and grief, and longing for a better day.
Later, I reflect on the supply room, the postcards on the floor, and crying with Kim. I think of a quote by Augustine: “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
As I pack lunch and pick out clothes for the following morning, I pray and I plan for courage. Courage to face another day filled with the tragedy of abortion; courage fuelled by the hope we have as we see the results of our efforts in our country day after day; courage as we lean on each other, cry together, and work together.
I hate abortion.
I’m glad I know Kim.