Monday, June 17, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (98)

(a novel continued)

The following Tuesday Nan’s group gathered at the hospital. Twelve women each carrying a candlelarge, small, pink, blue, purple, white and red, no two candles exactly the same. They spread several beach blankets on the ground outside the neo-natal wing and lit the candles. A blustery wind drafting between buildings threatened the flames, so they cupped their hands over their candles, turned backs to the wind, and huddled in prayer. 
At the end of the hour they blew out their candles and left, forgoing the usual chatter. The women did this for three weeks. The first week people would walk by pretending not to notice them. The second week Nan brought a sandwich board. She wrote, “We protect the flame with our bodies.” 
The third week a reporter from the local newspaper came by. He waited to the end of the hour then asked, “Who are you? What are you doing? Why? What do you hope to accomplish?”
“We’re not sure what we'll accomplish.” Nan said. “Awareness, possibly. A lot of people haven't let themselves think what it means to snuff out the life of a helpless human being.”
The reporter looked up from his notepad, "Okay?"
Nan sighed. “Just because the baby is inside the mother doesn’t make it any less a person. A helpless person. Abortion is the ultimate act of bullying.”
The reporter scribbled a few more notes. “Can anyone come to this vigil of yours? ”
“Sure, anyone can come,” Minnie said. “Tell them to bring a candle and possibly a blanket?”
The story appeared on the front page of the local paper the next day under the headline, "Babies Being Bullied?" 
The next week, at least a hundred people showed up. So did a TV crew. Then the week following about 800 people came out. They brought candles and signs and blankets.
A hospital administrator told them to move away from the entrance. “There are people trying to use this hospital.”
“If you would stop killing babies you wouldn’t have this problem,” someone shouted.
“Save the babies, save the babies,” the crowd began to chant.
‘Help, Lord, what do I do now?’ Minnie prayed.
‘Stand on the rock behind you and hold up your candle.’

Minnie climbed up onto a slopping rock and held up her candle. The flame blew out. 

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