When I think of pro-life, I didn’t used to think of the West Coast. Part of that’s probably because I’m planted firmly here in the Midwest. And part of that’s probably because when I think “West Coast” I think of Oregon and San Francisco.
And yet, one of the things on my “Things To Do” list (which I refuse to call a bucket list, thankyouverymuch) is to go to San Francisco some January for the Walk for Life West Coast (http://www.walkforlifewc.com/).
Here’s how it started and why they do it:
Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast’s mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Walk participants are expected from throughout the Bay Area and across the United States and Canada.
This year, the Walk is on January 25, so if you were the coast-hopping type, you could start in Dallas for their January 18 March for Life & Rally, make the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 22. Then head to San Francisco, where there are three days of events, including youth rallies, dinners, holy hours, Mass, and, yes, the Walk itself.
Lest you think this is no big deal, last year there were 50,000 people there. That’s a 1,000 times as many people in my village. It’s far more than you’ll see featured on the news.
What was that about the country not being in favor of life? What’s that hopeless twinge you had when you read the statistics or saw the HHS mandate news?
Friends, this is real. The dog ain’t sleeping. This is a city full of people peacefully witnessing to the Christian message of life. (And no, they’re not all Christian. But it is a Christian message.) If that’s not hope in person, I don’t know what is.
Want a dose of inspiration? Take a look at this video, celebrating and looking at the ten years of the Walk:
Among the speakers at this year’s walk are actress Shari Rigby, from the movie October Baby, Grace Dulaney, founder of Agnus Dei Foundation and Lamb of God Ranch, Monica Snyder, from Secular Pro-Life, and Reverend Charles Childress, nationally known author and speaker.
And perhaps what speaks most to my heart is the Silent No More Awareness Campaign that’s also part of the Walk. Silent No More highlights the damage done by abortion in a way that’s personal: the message the women (and men!) will share is “I regret my abortion” or “I regret lost fatherhood.” It’s powerful in a way that continues to bring tears to my eyes whenever I encounter it.
Maybe someday, when a cross-country flight or trip in January is more easily done, I’ll go and see the Walk for Life West Coast in person. Until then, I’ll be cheering and praying from here.