My name is Dan, and I am an abortion sidewalk counselor in New Jersey. This is my inaugural column for a series I will call On the Frontline. Yes, by the grace of God, and resulting from a lifetime of nagging by the Hound of Heaven, I have moved onto the prayer line at an abortion clinic, and then onto the frontline in the battle to save lives and souls. It’s humbling and even humiliating work.
Yet, at the end of my four hour shift, there is always a story to tell. Of course names are changed to protect privacy, and to keep away lawsuit-hungry attorneys. The human drama unfolds as we watch the unseen world of this killing site through fresh eyes. To start, I will keep it light. I call this piece Kiss of the Spider Woman. Thankfully, there was no kiss, but I did meet and converse with a spider woman. You cannot make this stuff up. Reality is often more absurd than fiction.
Our shift begins at 7:15 a.m. as the first arrivals come. The early arrivals are the most critical. These women will have the procedure “performed” within hours. They get prepped and ready for the abortionist to arrive at 9:00 a.m. and do his work. Later in the morning we see women that come for their initial visit, and also follow-up visits. At about 11:30 a.m. we wrap up.
There is an average of forty visits per Saturday morning, and while we are always on the watch, there are plenty of moments to pray the Rosary – to keep the prayer alive while the unborn are losing life. We never forget we are standing at the foot of Calvary.
On one particular day, the downtown was in a festive mood. A sidewalk sale sponsored by the local merchants brought more pedestrians into the business district. Parking meters were covered and labelled with free parking plastic bags, as even the meter maids were given the day off. More people were walking by the clinic on their way to the downtown festivities, instead of walking to the clinic to search out horrible solutions.
One senior citizen walked by carrying a lightweight collapsible cylindrical mesh cage, about the size of a shoe box. I handed literature to her, and then unlike those headed for the clinic, she stopped to talk to me. “Well, we have to do something about overpopulation,” she said. “There are six billion people living on the planet which is meant to sustain one billion.”
Well, that was news to me that the competition for resources is already six times in excess of the sustainable amount. It must have also been news to the five senior citizens that I pushed out of the delicatessen line for that pound of liverwurst. Let ‘em eat cat food.
The mental flag goes up; this will not be a rational conversation, so just have some fun. I mention that the US, and developing nations, are already below the 2.1 births sustainable level (a true fact). That doesn’t hit home. So I just tell her that there are not enough births, and now not enough working people to pay into Social Security, and the government will soon have to start cutting Social Security benefits. Hello, we all know the ratio of workers to retirees has been decaying for years. Ah, Social Security’s fragility always gets their attention.
Anyway, I was intrigued by the mesh cage. It had a Styrofoam cup at the bottom, with some sort of stuffing material. I didn’t see anything alive in the cage, although I always keep a buffer of 3-feet between me and any stranger with which I am conversing. I asked what was in the cage. She said, “My spider. I’m taking him to the sidewalk sale. I have eight to twelve spiders in my house.”
“You don’t kill them?” I asked.
“No,” she beamed, “I would never kill a spider.”
I remember reading Charlotte’s Web to my sons. Charlotte explained to Wilbur her bio-sustainable rational of a diet of flies and other insects. If Charlotte and her kind did not eat flies, they would take over the world. Our lives would no longer be sustainable, as we were buried under overpopulated masses of pesky flies. This planet can sustain only one septillion flies, and we were already at six septillion. Gotta save those spiders. But Charlotte allays the fears of the piglet destined for my liverwurst by telling him that she really doesn’t eat the flies, but sucks out their blood. She makes it painless by using anesthesia, “A little something extra I throw in.”
It was true, lives were being sucked out of existence as we were conversing, eased with generous amounts of anesthesia.
And now we come to the clincher. “You do not kill spiders, but you think it is OK to have unborn babies aborted.” I say.
Then the standard retort, “It not a baby. It’s a fetus.”
It’s the claptrap to any conversation. Enjoy the sidewalk sale. Hope Charlotte finds some nice shoes. So, there you have it. A perfectly rational argument for saving spiders, aborting the unborn, and keeping the planet sustainable. All this within the mind of one of our fellow citizens that will march into the voting booth and cast her ballot for the pro-spider candidate of her choice. In my New Jersey candor, I want to say, “What, you stupid?”
Purgatory is supposed to be a place where we painfully complete our spiritual and emotional growth, and “burn” away our addiction to sin. However, it also has to be a place of some remedial growth of intellect. God has to be doing some serious brain improvement for some unfortunate people in the afterlife. We wonder how they fail to see the humanity of those about to die. So, with my little blue plastic rosary, I pray for the unborn, I pray for those in the abortion industry, I pray for post abortive mothers and fathers and now I have to pray for the terminally stupid.
Keep your prayers constant, and let them multiply like flies. Eventually those pesky prayers will push through the sustainability of their culpable ignorance. We will overwhelm the rational spiders and bury them under the mass of God’s love.
[box]Daniel Mikulsky is a father of two school age boys, graduated from Columbia and knew Father Ford (who baptized Tom Merton). He has an MBA, helps companies prepare and recover from disaster (a very lucrative field), and is now enrolled for in a MA in Homeland Security. He regularly compares grades with the boys, which tick them off to no end. Family patrons include St Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, St. James the Less and St. Patrick. [/box]