Can you picture it? There I was, trapped in clouds of smoke, surrounded by desperation (and by desperation I mean really high, half-conscious, probably also terribly drunk teenagers who wore rags for tops and overly priced elastic on their legs or chains draped from ripped jeans). My camera could barely focus because of the intense sound, and coming straight from a visit at my grandma’s (where the tv was tuned to EWTN and where the kitchen was full of homemade food and meaningful conversation), I wore a turtleneck and tall boots, likely the most clothed person in that place. I was there in that stadium, what a contrast, for longer than I care to admit, assigned to get photographs of a rapper I’ve never heard of and quite frankly never care to hear about again. I hung out backstage in between acts, attempting to avoid the unbearable and unavoidable scent of marijuana coming from every corner of the building, catching up on social media from the day’s March for Life events, and wishing I had brought a book to read to pass the time till the main event. I was so out of place. To put myself in uncomfortable situations like this on a regular basis, I’m either crazy or there’s a reason for the madness. I can only describe it as some sort of spazzing that took place on stage, a never-ending screeching of every disgusting word ever imaginable. I’d call it occasional but it was really a regular occurrence that I’d see totally unconscious kids wheeled out on stretchers, backstage staff yelling for paramedics and lifeless-looking bodies passed through the crowd to the front where medics wheeled them away to be treated for overdose. Living in the world but not of the world is NO JOKE. Why even bother? Can’t we just tuck ourselves away and not deal with it all? I’ve been blessed with a solid head on my shoulders, and it’s only for this reason that I say what I say with such bluntness. But here’s the thing: people are searching. And hurting. And longing. For Truth. Fulfillment. Life. Sometimes the best way to lead the lost home is with the example of lives lived for Truth. Don’t be disheartened - we must fight in the battle. Our retreat to victory will come.