As Francis Beckwith reminds us, January 22, 2010, is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It dawned on me that this date is also the first anniversary of Barack Obama's first full day as POTUS. Given the controversy in the last election campaign surrounding Obama's vocal pro-choice position, I'm sure the chronological coincidence was noted by persons more historically knowledgeable than myself even as it took shape (e.g., cf. my recent post about MLK, Jr., and Planned Parenthood). I doubt I will ever forget that Obama was inaugurated on January 21, though not for the reasons just mentioned. The coincidence with Roe v. Wade only fortifies the memory.
While I'm normally oblivious-in-principle to political 'events' and other media 'happenings', I'm especially mindful of this date, because last year I was originally scheduled to fly back to Taiwan on January 21. Due, however, to a miscommunication between my travel agent and, well, me, and, uh, the airline company, I was delayed till the next day. So, instead of 'seeing' Obama inaugurated as I flew over from Jacksonville to Dulles, I got to watch it happen on the Internet... and then got to fly over the new President the next day. That's right, friends, I've only lived 24 hours in American borders under President Obama.
In any case, I came back to Taiwan last year on January 22, a Thursday, full of dreams about a certain future. The past year has been full--slap effing full!--of upheavals and, ahem, suprises, which have dramatically altered certain parts of my original "script." The best laids plans of mice and men, and all that. Nevertheless, God has been faithful and here I am; bloodied but not bowed, sobered and chastened but not without hope, biding my time but not wasting it. It is morbidly poignant to discover that, although I didn't know it, January 22 has always been an important date for me, insofar as pro-life advocacy has been a central value of mine for years. One might even be inclined to call it Providential. Indeed, in the past week I, a German major and a longtime Germanophile, posted about the actions of Pallottine fathers ("Raphael's Union") in Nazi Germany to save Jews during WWII. My standing interest in improving Jewish-Christian relations, as well as my hopes for a redemption of German culture from both the onus of "Nazi guilt" and the progressive paganisation-cum-secularisation in the country, have made the witness of those Pallotine fathers especially inspiring for me. Well, it turns out that St. Vincent Pallotti's feast day is none other than January 22. Again, eyes that can see might be inclined to see Providence at work, writing straight with crooked lines, as always.