Despite frigid temperatures on Jan. 22, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Liberty Plaza in Atlanta for the 34th Annual Georgia (silent) March for Life. Georgia Right to Life President Ricardo Davis, who has indicated that he wants “to nurture GRLT’s position as the pro-life thought leader in public policy, ethics and law” introduced Monica Matthews as the emcee of the memorial service prior to the march.
Matthews is the radio host of WSB’s Monica Matthews Show, an author, Grammy-nominated vocal artist, musician, Christian political and business consultant, and widowed mother of a daughter. Matthews, a devout Christian, has expressed her views on life by saying, “This nation was birthed in the heart and mind of the Author and Father of life. If we pursue policies, security, and wealth without the sanctity f life at the top of our priority list our legislation, our economic growth, our standing in the world, our military strength, and our freedom are in vain.
“We are made in the image and likeness of God and His children are called to honor and defend the unborn life with mercy, grace, and justice. We were first conceived in His heart and mind and to believe otherwise is the basis of all human suffering.”
Kipper Tabb was introduced as the keynote speaker by emcee Matthews. Tabb has been on staff of Perimeter Church in Duluth in the pastoral care ministry for nineteen years and ran for the Georgia House of Representatives last year and was endorsed by the GRTL.
Tabb stressed that the March for Life would be conducted in silence, “because so many children don’t have an opportunity to speak. They were inconvenient. They were unwanted by a society that is self-absorbed.”
So, the march was a silent march. It stood in stark contrast to the loud and boisterous marches and virulent protests that have become so commonplace in our society.
The lists of loud and unruly rallies and demonstrations are almost endless and most inspire a similar response. There is such a thing as an “intermittent explosive disorder.” Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other outbursts or protests generally evoke a similar response.
Unfortunately, in our culture noise has become so routine that we can hardly live without it. We cut on the television or the Google Home Hub, not so much to watch it or listen to it, but because we just want to hear something that dispels our loneliness or maybe to keep us from thinking about those eternal issues that often demand more of us than we are willing to give.
Sometimes silence is deafening. The striking absence of noise is so profound that it seems to have its own quality. In fact, there may be something very spiritual about moments or even hours of silence.
It is interesting that Elijah did not find God in noise and commotion, but in a still small voice. In I Kings 19:11-13 God said to Elijah, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord. “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” It was in that still small voice that Elijah met the Lord.
And in Psalm 46:10 God declares, “Be still and know that I am God.”
In the hustle and bustle of this urban, digital age, with its soundtrack of incessant background noise, soundbites, earbuds, microphones, increasing decibels, and white noise it is getting difficult to find a place where all you can hear are natural sounds anymore.
Of course, it is difficult to find much silence in the city of Atlanta, but much of the surrounding sound seemed to pale into insignificance during this March for Life, because there was no singing, no shouting, no ruckus, no blaring of trumpets, no clatter or clamor from a maddening crowd – just a silent walk. Those who participated seemed determined to remember those aborted babies who were never granted so much as a whimper.
As we recalled the tens of millions of babies whose voices have been silenced by abortion, we became painfully aware that their songs will never be heard. Their valedictory speeches will never be heard. There recitation of poems will never be heard. Their joyous sounds of laughter will never be heard. Their voices cheering on their favorite team will never be heard. Their prayers and supplications will never be heard.
The deafening silence of all those precious children reminded me of the book, “The Silhouette Maker of Copenhagen” by Lowell Komie. The book is about the Holocaust that took place during Nazi Germany’s Third Reich.
Komie wrote in the preface of his book, “I write about the Holocaust because I want to honor the six million Jews who died and whose voices have been forever silenced. While I am alive and have the ability to carry on as a writer, I want to speak for them. Many of them would have been wonderful poets, writers, and artists had they been allowed to live. Their voices have been silenced forever.”
Thomas Carlyle once said, “Silence is more eloquent than words.” I think that may have been the case on Tuesday as hundreds of pro-life advocates quietly marched down Martin Luther King Drive in Atlanta.