Occupy Savannah

The nation-wide 40 Days for Life Campaign, a prayerful vigil outside abortion clinics, is wrapping up this week.  The day my church was scheduled to support the vigil was weeks ago, and they had plenty of volunteers for that day.  I decided to go “some other day” later in the campaign, but week after week went by.  Things kept coming up.  I had other priorities.

Last week, the woman responsible for coordinating time slots called me, and I promised her a day and time – yesterday from 2 to 3 pm.  I figured if it was definitely on my calendar, I would not be “overcome by events.”

This is Savannah’s first year participating in the campaign, and they only tried for 7 am to 7 pm, instead of the 24 hour vigils encouraged elsewhere.  Despite more than 90 churches in the area and the reduced hours, the campaign could not get the 960 people needed (12 hours x 2 people per hour x 40 days), and many hours meant no prayerful presence at the clinic.  I, and I’m sure many others, were praying at all hours of the day and night as we went about our busy schedules.  But still, a physical presence means more. 

Sadly, I think we fight apathy more than anything.  I don’t think many people are really in favor of abortion.  I think the vast majority of people just don’t care about the issue – they don’t think it applies to them.  I don’t get that.  Ho, hum, thousands of babies dying every day in America…not my problem.  I’m too old to have babies.  I’m happily married.  I’m a man.

And we criticize China for ignoring one 2 year old who was hit by a car and left on the street.  Not my kid…not my problem.


So, yesterday, school is in session and I’m trying to get reluctant students to get some work done, and I’m trying to get the kitchen cleaned up before we go, and I’m refusing to get discouraged, and I’m letting go of the idea that I will be remotely successful in these endeavors.  My priority is getting to the abortion clinic by 2 pm, as promised.  Nothing else matters.

I get the kids fed lunch; I have them fill their water bottles and pack up some books; I tell them to saddle up.  I get myself a cup of water and head out to the car.  Everybody is loaded and buckled.  I put the key in the ignition and hear a click.


I try again, not because I expect a different response, but because I can not believe that I got that response in the first place.  Click click click.

“Stay put,” I tell the kids and head inside to call AAA.  But first I have to call the vigil coordinator to tell her I won’t be there.  As her phone rings, my disappointment, frustration and shock all reach a boiling point, so the message I left on her machine went something like this:

“Blubber blubber blubber…my car won’t start…blubber blubber blubber…can’t believe it…blubber blubber blubber…will try to get there as soon as possible..blubber blubber blubber…I know it’s silly to cry…blubber blubber blubber….”

Then I took a deep breath and made a very calm phone call to AAA.  Fifteen minutes later, the coordinator called me back.

“Are you ok?!?!?”  {sigh}  Yes.  I’ve cleaned up all the puddles.


AAA came.  My battery was so dead that it took 10 minutes of charging to get it to run by itself, and the nice guy followed me to the local car supply place to make sure I got there ok.  They have a device that checks your battery for you.  It also checks the starter and alternator to see if they are draining the battery.

Everything was fine.

 I just wasn’t supposed to be at that clinic at that hour.


Better late than never, my small band of protestors showed up and occupied the tiny patch of grass between the sidewalk and the street.  I tried to pray, but had to deal with a constant barrage of questions from “Why would someone want to kill their baby?” to “Why can’t we storm the building and make them stop?”

Mary is, apparently, a natural-born protestor.  “They kill babies here, Mom?” she asked.  When I said yes, she picked up a sign, held it over her head and waved it at anybody who might be passing by.  There was nobody passing by, but that did not matter.  It was so cute I had to take a picture.

She doesn’t know what the sign says, but that doesn’t really matter.  Billy, meanwhile, is contemplating the fall of Jericho and wondering if we march around the abortion clinic for 7 days and blow trumpets, if it won’t just fall down.  I suggested that since no Angel of the Lord had appeared to him, the chance of success of in that was slim.

We made it 45 minutes before Mary had to go to the bathroom.  She actually suggested that the little patch of grass was fine for her, but since I support laws against public urination, unlike other protest movements, I decided that our occupation of Savannah was over.

7 thoughts on “Occupy Savannah

  1. That girl is a force to be reckoned with- thank Goodness she's on the right side.

  2. God bless you and your occupiers. If only other groups would spend their time as well. I guess “28% of the women have 100% of the abortions” is not unfair to anyone. At least not to anyone who is able to protest.

  3. Awesome! And there was probably a Very Good Reason that you weren't there at 2. Even if you never find out what that reason was.

  4. I'm proud to be one who looks up to you…thanks for perservering!

  5. not to be a dick…but you are not affiliated with Occupy Savannah, and to put that in your blog post title can and does cause confusion…can you please refrain from doing so in the future…also you mentioned other protests not respecting laws against public urination? because the Occupy movement doesn't do that (we don't need to the local businesses are happy to let us use their bathrooms), and you can only protest for 45 min? shows some great dedication to your cause

  6. Oh, I wasn't going to publish this comment. but I really think it says more than is written. Sorry, “Occupy Savannah”, you don't own the name and if people are confused – fabulous. And scoffing at a mother who “only” protested for 45 minutes, with all children in tow, as not being dedicated to a cause? Standing around holding signs is not the only way to change the world; it's not even the BEST way to change the world. You don't even have the courage to sign your name.

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