I’ve lived in New York City for 11 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone in a city of almost nine million people, than Friday, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Second only to, perhaps, when Donald Trump was elected.
Friday, June 24. 3:00 pm. I’m working at my desk, when all of a sudden, I hear police helicopters outside my window, as thousands of protestors gathered in Washington Square Park, to demonstrate their outrage over the Court’s decision.
New York City is about as blue as blue can be, and it’s moments like this that really illuminate, not just how alone I am here with my conservative, Catholic values, but also how much my heart yearns for Ohio, where there is still right and wrong, children’s innocence is protected, and God is still present and alive.
I know it’s no utopia, but at least my heart feels safe and at home.
Though I am outspoken on this blog, in “real life” I have a personal “zero politics talk” policy. Meaning — I keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. Even if I’m with a group that’s talking politics, I will input absolutely nothing. I simply listen, smile and nod. I’ve lost friendships in the past over nothing more than being found out as a Trump supporter. Consider it my survival tactic.
Back to the present…Steven and I took a 2 mile walk through the city on Saturday afternoon. And in the span of just 5 blocks, we saw one guy wearing a T-shirt that read, “What Would Satan Do?” and another man dressed in woman’s dress with a sign that read simply, “F*#% God.” However, his “F-Word” was not censored.
Steven always reminds me that everyone is allowed to believe what they want to believe. Which is true. And by golly, they do here in Manhattan. But still — seeing those blatant public rejections of God like that…it cut to my heart like a knife.
We were watching the sunset that night on his rooftop, and there was a clear blue sky, and I just looked up, wondering how God must feel with so many of His creations hating Him, and how much that must hurt His heart.
There was a viral video that went around the internet this weekend after the Court’s decision, and it was the live reaction of a young female reporter from some left-wing online media source. I must have seen this video posted, I kid you not, 25 different times on my Instagram feed, and I’m going to transcribe it here, so you don’t have to listen to her shrill, cutting commentary…
“I don’t care that you’re a Christian. I don’t care what the Bible says. I feel like it’s a clown show sitting here trying to decipher what your little mythical book has to say about these very real political issues… I don’t care about your goddamn religion. I’m so tired of having nonstop conversations about what the Bible says… You don’t get to take the Bible and tell me, [mockingly] “Well, the Bible says this in this chapter in this verse…” I don’t care! I don’t care! I don’t believe in it and I have the right based on our Constitution to not believe in it.”
Which, let’s just be clear…from a legal standpoint, she is correct.
But it was just the mocking way in which she was talking about the Bible; the hostile and combative way she was literally yelling at the camera. She was so impassioned about hating God, it just made me really incredibly sad. And to see that video over, and over, and over again online. It was like one gut punch after another.
Sunday morning, I decided to go to Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. I wanted to make a special trip to the Cathedral in gratitude for the overturning of Roe, and for answering decades-worth of millions of prayers from all around the world.
I was a little weary, as Catholic Churches and pro-life pregnancy centers had been warned to be on alert for riots, terror attacks, and violence. All of the entrances of the Cathedral were locked — barricaded with full police barricades and armed police officers — except for one small side door, where you were personally checked by a cop with a really large rifle.
If you’ve ever been inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Mass, it’s actually really hard to hear, with the significant echo of the mic. And honestly, I tuned out for most of the homily, unable to make out what was being said. But for the last five minutes, I strained my ears and really tried to listen closely, and sure enough, God showed up for me, right then and there.
The priest reminded us that if someone hates God, and rejects Him and everything He stands for — we shouldn’t respond in indignant anger, or a combative sparring match to try and gain the upper hand to win him over.
But rather, to just pray and leave it up to God. Because God’s journey for each and every one of us is different. And just because today this person may hate and reject God, it’s not the end of the story for him or her. God’s not finished with them yet. God is able to transform hearts, and sometimes a person’s journey must include a period where they are lost, so that they can come to find and love our Father. My journey certainly did.
And I thought – Wow, Lord. That’s really exactly what I needed to hear at this exact moment, in very hostile times, in the most hostile city in the world.
Does it make me feel less alone and on an island here in this city of spiritual decay? No. But it does give me the faintest glimmer of hope. It does allow me, instead of feeling sad, to pray for Lord’s will to be done in their life.
God is capable of incredible miracles, as we witnessed on Friday in the Court.
He can bring light about in even the darkest of places. My life, for one, is evidence of that.
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