Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Burst Bubble

Sometimes I need what I call a “bubble day.” That’s when I convince myself that the world is a kind and friendly place, where everyone gets along and the biggest controversy is over what to have for dinner. I mentally create my own sterile environment, and I hang out in there and allow myself to recuperate from the world at large. I really could have used one of those days today, but life kept coming at my bubble with an ice pick.

It all started off with a new chapter in our disagreement with the guy next door over dog poop. This has been an ongoing saga, of which I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say I’m having a hard time loving my neighbor.

After church, we went to Pet Smart to buy some dog food, and our credit card wouldn’t go through. After an excruciating conversation with the Citibank customer no-service department, we discover that they have decided, without consulting us, to upgrade our account and cancel our old cards. They sent us new ones, which we apparently threw out with the fifty million other credit card offers we get each day. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that of course, this particular card was the one we were using to automatically pay all our other bills.

Believe it or not, at this point, I was still hopeful of having at least a bubble afternoon. However, we had one more errand to run, and as we turned onto the main road I realized that the world was just not going to cut me a break today.

The street, probably the busiest in our city, was lined down both sides for at least a quarter of a mile with people holding up signs that said, “Abortion Kills Children.” Yep, the girl who wanted to spend the day pretending that the world was conflict-free found herself in the middle of a giant abortion protest. Yippee.

So finally I gave up, turned my brain back on, and checked out the scene. Several things stood out.

First of all, there were quite a few young children holding signs, which I found to be extremely disturbing. A 7-year-old boy shouldn’t even understand sex, much less abortion. There’s no way those kids could understand what they were doing. What kind of parent makes their child participate in something like that?

Secondly, I couldn’t tell what organization was sponsoring the protest. I’m sure it was some sort of church, but there was no info about that on any of the signs. It seemed kind of cowardly to me to stage such a bold demonstration but not own up to it.

But mainly, I just hated how it made me feel. It all seemed so self-righteous, and I felt that even though I’m not an advocate of abortion they’d probably condemn me just as harshly, because I would never stand beside them on the side of the road denouncing it either. I felt like I was in the middle of a drive-by judging.

So were any abortions prevented by the corridor of shame? I highly doubt it. But I do think at least one woman recognized the error of her ways today. As we sat at an intersection, I smiled as one of the protestors glanced furtively at her fellow demonstrators, shuffled a few feet away from the rest of them, and slowly covered her face with her sign.

1 comment:

Stacie said...

Wow - I don't know whether to be happy to read someone with the same reaction I had or be worried that we experienced the same "Tunnel of Shame" in southeastern Indiana on the same day as you witnessed it where you are. Same signs, same lack of owning up to it.

I haven't read any of your other posts and how I ended up at this one is a long story. But this hit home with me and what I'm trying to think through right now so thanks for posting it!