This post is the fourth in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
The day we returned from the hospital, I headed to store to fill a prescription for my wife. As I drove, I turned on the radio, set to my usual public radio channel. A state lawmaker and the host were discussing some bit of abortion legislation. The legislator quipped something like, “You know, it’s not a big deal. We’re only talking about fetuses up to 18-weeks.” These words hit my heart like salt in a bite wound.
The Third Fox — Culture
There it was, the little fox sent to choke out grief and stifle the growth of healthy mourning—our culture. We live in a culture where politicians can reduce my baby to an “only” for the sake votes. Where corporations press the language of “no big deal” so that they can cut big deals trafficking the body parts we just buried. We fathers are denied entry into the conversation because we lack the proper anatomy.
How do we mourn what leaders label an “only” and a “no big deal”?
The Indignant Boy Who Lived
Christmas rebukes our culture. The nativity scene speaks hope to the grieving father.
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her” (Luke 1:41). Not an “only.” Not a “no big deal.” A baby leaped inside her.
“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). Not an “only.” Not a “no big deal” A baby will be lying in the manger.
The same Greek word for baby (brephos) is used in both verses, assuring us with divine authority that what is in the womb is every bit as much a baby as what is lying in the manger.
That swaddled baby faced a similar culture, one in which a lawmaker, driven by the desire to preserve his power and profit, would decree the child’s death via the murder of all the young boys in Bethlehem. But that fox did not win.
The Indignant King and the Culture of Death
The boy who lived grew to be a man who fought to the death for life. At Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus witnessed his friends weeping as he approached the burial place of his friend. John twice records that he was “deeply moved,” translated from a Greek word used to describe a horse snorting, which indicated being moved with indignation or anger. So we find Jesus, staring death in the face, full of indignation, snorting fiercely at his enemy.
Dads and moms are right to be overcome with emotion in the face of death. Jesus joins them. Death—from the womb to the tomb—is a big deal. It is not an “only.” Death is an enemy, a foreign invader, smuggled in on the back of sin, wreaking havoc in our world. It should be stared down with snorting indignation.
“Death is finished!”
Only let us entrust our indignation to the hands of our Warrior King. While our anger cannot resolve the problem, Jesus’ anger did. He demanded, “Lazarus, come out!” And the man who had died came out.
Not long after this, Jesus cried out again — “It is finished!” — as he succumbed to the wages of sin on our behalf. There, in his death, death died. And in his resurrection, he won the resurrection of his people—of all those who trust in him (and, I would argue, all the little ones we’ve lost in the womb).
Fathers and mothers resist the culture of death by being firm in their faith in the Lord of Life.
To be continued…
This series originally published at Risen Motherhood.
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