CONTINUING ON WITH THE PLEDGE (another 500 words of wisdom)

Wednesday night in church. Here we are, me and him…all because of drunken promises to my mother the night before. Two bottles of red and here I was, and here he was.

“It is great to be here tonight. I was going to give you a brief rundown of my speech, but I figured I could just start from the beginning.”

The lanky teenager stood up on his tippy toes.

“To introduce myself… I’m J.P. Klein. I attended St. Thecla for grammar school and now I am at Prairie South for highschool. When I was a student here I didn’t even know what an abortion and contraceptives were… once I got to freshman year, that was when I really became pro-life. I saw a girl walking around the hallways, her stomach was big and I could tell she was having a baby, and I thought to myself, this girl has real courage. It was hard to do what she was doing, but it was another baby saved. I would say that in that particular moment, that instance I saw Christ and came to the side of pro-life.

A year later, I had a friend get pregnant, and seeing her experience from sophomore to senior year, well let me say my faith was reaffirmed. She was fifteen years old when she decided to have an abortion, and what I have seen her go through since then, now that we’re both seventeen, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. She still drives to the abortion clinic on the anniversary of her child’s death, every year, and gets on her hands and knees and asks God for forgiveness.

The drugs kids my age take, the alcohol, the temptations, they don’t know what they’re doing to themselves, let alone a future person, one of their kids or grandkids.

I recently started texting members of our youth group in order to remind them to meet on Saturdays, and just last week a couple of the kids in the group and around the group confronted me… they asked if I was a Jesus freak or some kind of ‘narc,’ which means a narcotics officer. And you know what, I said yes to all. I just want to follow in Jesus’ footprints, and I want the people I am with to do the same.

Hopefully I will be in a position to pursue a political science degree in college and become a politician, a voice for those without a voice. I want to help others understand all that I have learned about life and Christ, and to continue to keep people protected. How can we be Christians if we hate? That is my next question. The elderly, the homeless, especially the unborn, and the teenagers and parents and kids, we need to respect and love everyone.

Thank you, are there any questions?”

The parishioners on sight clapped and clapped and my mother clapped and I could tell she could tell I thought most of what he had said, no, all of what he had said, was completed bullshit… she tried to dribble something quietly into my ear but I now I had to clap and clap so as to avoid a side conversation about sex. My sister had been slotted as the next speaker during the TUESDAY YOUTH SERMON SERIES, so I kept clapping.

There were questions for JP: an old woman wondered with all her heart how he had been born with such a passion, such a vigor in his faith… he smiled and responded with a quip about not having very many friends in Middle School so he prayed a lot, and what a defining moment in his life it had been when he saw the pregnant girl in the hallway, his personal smidgen of revelation… a call to God at thirteen. Another question poked up about his favorite gospel… then, his favorite saint.

I stopped listening and remembered second grade, right before First Communion, right before my Uncle Bob had died without any warning…  a seven year old… the adults and aunts and uncles who knew what cancer and radiation and 10% chance of living meant… but not me… it didn’t matter to anymore though. I hated First Communion and God and was done with everything else that happened in this basement chapel, this very basement chapel, at 7.

And there above the altar hung a banner and, as the pregnant parade of truth walked off and my sister walked on, I read the banner… It is these people who will inherit my kingdom

I laughed.

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