Where to begin? This is long but worth it so keep reading. Instead of writing every day I am editing in stuff, my way!
When you know you are supposed to do something and that the Holy Spirit is egging you on and you obey it all comes together. “All things work together for the glory of God.”
The last few weeks was probably the most intense but rewarding period in my life, at least recently. Thank goodness for the prayers of many and for dear friend Theresa assisting with blog entries and loaning me things like camera bags and tripods! What a pal!
I survived a crash course in the business of documentary film making, as well as the technical side of things. I learned about releases and permissions, interviews and interview questions. About crossing off interview questions down to the three best, and making them up ‘off the cuff.’ I also discovered first hand that you may not get the interview even if it is promised to you, because you are moving as fast as you can in 103 degrees with 90 % humidity, and you can’t even get to the person you are supposed to interview for the crowd. Or they don’t show up to the reception after the rally. That you have to be somewhat aggressive and pursue them by racing across town, and even then you might not get it.
I learned to not be upset when things don’t go as planned, (Holy Spirit), and God’s hand is still in everything. Also, like Kelly said, you may have a concept and that may change or evolve into something else or go in a different direction. The key is roll with it and modify, modify, modify, because what you get spontaneously is often the best of the lot.
Weird stuff that happened follows, Probably the evil one trying to stop us, but he didn’t.
1) Driving away from Austin about 100 miles away, the truck driving in front of us lost a wheel and dropped to the ground, wheel rolled out in front of us. I was able to quickly navigate to the shoulder as I recovered in disbelief.
2) We tried to get info from the hotel about which section the Freedom Ride was and could not, we went the wrong way, about a mile it seemed, IT WAS HUGE, and two police persons on bikes saw us walk through the breezeway, came and guided us in the right direction, just like angels! Oddly, they were there when we got out, after it was over and we enjoyed talking with them. People in the south are very friendly and warm in general, and we found that everywhere we went. We did notice the general atmosphere was different, and I reminded myself about the extreme racism that my brothers and sisters there had experienced for many years.
3) At the rally I dropped my camera on the floor much to my chagrin, actually twice, but it still worked! Thanks be to God. However the lens cap rolled under the dark seats. I had to procure a flashlight from the usher and crawl on my knees to retrieve it. It rolled under a very pregnant woman and she had to get up and reach it under her seat. I was extremely embarrassed and apologetic. She was kind.4) After the rally I was exhausted. Chatted briefly with the night concierge while waiting for Fredrick to park the car so we could finally go up to our rooms and crash. She was a spirit filled woman who loved the Lord. ( My mother used to say I should have been a politician as I have never met a stranger!) In the morning she asked me if I had lost a camera and to describe it. They had kept it for in security. The Lord sure knows how to keep me humble. Sometimes I am a mess but I am His mess!
5) We didn’t have a light for Fredrick’s video camera and it was dark in the lobby of the convention center. Another learning experience. It was also dark on the bus and we needed light to tape inside and therefore couldn’t. Word of every day was, stay flexible and do the best you can.
Awesome and great things happened too. At St. Paul’s Cathedral where we went to 8:30 a.m. mass on Sunday we interviewed a good priest who knows Father Issie from St. Albert in Austin. He asked me to tell him hello which I promised to. I asked him a few questions about the pro-life movement in Birmingham and about how parishes could support women who had experienced the trauma of abortion. He was candid, open and warm.
I approached a Dominican sister but she said very politely she could not discuss anything on camera without permission from her higher ups. I understand that obedience.
We experienced some resistance to our being there when we arrived in Atlanta.We were slightly delayed due to a pit stop. As we approached the memorial, we saw Fr. Frank and Alveda with about our group being forced off the property, so we followed. Pro-death demonstrators were chanting and singing loudly. We sang “We Shall Overcome” and went over to a small sidewalk next to a building where we spilled out into the street and the speaking began. It was HOT. Women were passing out water so we would not pass out! I felt sorry for Fr. Frank wearing black and the men in suits.
A most powerful sight was the Freedom Bus. It was beautiful, ( pics later ) and it kept circling around and around the block because we couldn’t park. It was like a giant powerful statement that kept encircling all of us and I smiled every time it went around.
The love and dedication of the 300 or so people who had come from all over the country to attend the Pro-Life Freedom Ride was so strong and permeating. The intention so pure, and the love so strong. People came from many states and two fellas were from Spain! They were students on Holiday in New York and came down with a young woman who ran a pregnancy help center there.
After we left the MLK tomb and memorial in Atlanta, I chased an interview with Fr. Pavone all the way to EWTN where he had said Mass that weekend. We thought he might still be there, but unfortunately he had left the day before. We meant to go there anyway and took photos in the chapel and footage outside and felt strongly that our dear blessed Mother was telling us to keep going as we refreshed ourselves in front of Jesus in the exposed Holy Eucharist. We felt strongly that what we were doing was pleasing to her. I was photographed near a painting of our dear Mother Angelica. How I wished I could have stayed longer. I met some parishioners there from St. Williams in Round Rock who were on vacation, much to my delight!
We got a few interviews, short ones, although there was a lot of talking around us. We also got some good footage, although we have not yet reviewed it. There will be a tremendous amount more interviewing and footage to shoot and planning to do, and it all takes time and of course money. But if God wills it, it will come about.
It was a very emotional experience and we are both still decompressing. Through all the mishaps and bumblings, I felt and saw the hand of God helping us every step of the way.
I heard some of the most eloquent speakers I have ever heard in my life, standing opposite the memorial site of Dr. King, one of my heroes, and wished I had taken a tape recorder.
Don’t know how much is usable, but I do know I was supposed to be there. On to the next phase. The next Pro-Life Freedom Ride will be in Knoxville in October and more info is available on the Priest For Life site.
The civil rights of unborn babies are being trod upon. AND this is a spiritual battle of course. It is both. Let us respond with everything in us.
I keep hearing, “Be you therefore as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.” Let us endeavor to do and be this for our creator.
I will yet get that interview with Fr. Frank and Alveda King, watch me! Even if I have to go to NYC!
More later and thanks for keeping up with me.
God bless you all!