For the last week or so, thousands of people in blue have flocked to Austin to show their support for the unborn among us and their mothers. Thousands of marchers have shown up from places all over the state to speak out for the voiceless.
I love their passion and admire their dedication. I keep trying to figure out how to get down there and join them. While it hasn’t happened yet, I’m still trying. In the meantime, I’ve found my own gentle protest, my own uprising against a culture which is trending against the value of children. Where our country is hardening itself against the beauty of Life, I’ve made myself a quiet spokesperson. Being a parent is difficult even in socially acceptable circumstances. It can become defeating when it seems as if your beloved child is unwanted by the world. So those of us who value the lives of these children should say so.
Will you join me?
Will you smile at the mom in the grocery store, who is herself on the verge of tears, as her two year old melts down and she wants to hide in shame? Will you look her in the eye and reassure her that this is temporary and that while this moment is bad that it does get easier? Will you reach out to her and be the kind voice she so badly needs to hear? Will you tell her that her “screaming monster” is beautiful? Will you see past the noise and see their humanity?
Will you smile at the mother at the park whose child bears the unmistakeable signs of birth defects or genetic abnormalities? Will you look at her baby, the one others avert their eyes to avoid seeing? Will you see past what others see as ugliness and see the beautiful eyes that reflect his mother’s love? Will you comment on the beauty of his spirit and the lovely joyous lilt of his laugh? Will you talk to her and listen…really listen to this woman whose choice to love her baby has made her an outcast among most of the people she meets?
Will you smile at the mom whose family seems too large? Will you see in her 12th baby the same beauty that you would have seen in her first? Will you be kind in your words and greet them in the library check out line instead of impatiently sighing as each child must run her own books across the scanner? Will you offer to hold the baby as she fumbles for her keys? When they walk past you in a restaurant and tables must be moved to seat them all, will you compliment her on how lucky she is to be surround by all that love? Will you see them for the family they are instead of the spectacle they easily become?
Will you smile at the mother whose child has been lost? Will you remember to speak his name and not be afraid to bring him up? Will you look at those heartbreaking photos from the day that he was born and see not the dead child she delivered but the living love she lost? Will you remark on his sweet face and the beauty of his hands? Will you allow her to still be his mother even though he’s lost to her? Will you be the one who sees the mother when just the woman is standing there?
Will you smile at the woman whose womb is empty still? Will you be gentle in your joy as her own heart breaks in two? Will you ignore the tears she tries to hide as you hand her the tissue box? Will you let her talk about it for as long as the ache is there? Will you be the person who listens to her pain? Will you wrap your arms around her and love her when it’s hard? Will you be the smile she needed to get her through this day and not be offended if she just can’t look at you?
Will you be the person you want to be in the back of your own mind? Will you be the kind and calm voice the word just aches to hear? It’s funny how the mean and cruel words are flung at us without a care, but the kind words are held close as though their cost were very dear. So take the time to smile at all the people you run into today. It’s the very smallest thing, and yet it can change so much in the life of someone who needs to see it. This is what we are marching for, the beauty we say we protect. If all life is valuable, then we should behave as if it were true. Will you join my little campaign? Will you smile at them?
This article originally appeared on Ignitum Today and is used with permission.