I’ve been wanting to feel something concerning this Advent. I chant. I kneel. I pray in expectation. I even looked intensely at my Christmas tree and saw streams of blood in a golden twinkling universe, but no baby.
I peruse liberal blogs to learn about extreme
opinions. Something rattled me to the point where I actually thought
writing something in response on the internet was a worthwhile endeavor.
Certain couples don’t believe in the use of birth control out of
religious conviction. However weird that may seem to Christians and
non-Christians alike, they have several thousand years of church history
to show for support. A couple has recently been in the news because
they gave birth to their eighteenth child and there’s a TLC special
about it. My thoughts regarding reality programming aside, it was my
belief they had the right to do as they pleased.
amount of venom I saw spewed at this family was appalling. Because in
the name of “caring for the earth” these people joked about forced
sterilization, abortions, and murder. Some strongly advocated it. The
words of Flannery O’Connor became startlingly clear: tenderness divorced
from its source leads to the gas chambers. This family wastes resources
supporting human life and their religious ethic, and therefore should
It didn’t come into full focus until I
heard mention of children of leukemia on television. They have made no
measurable impact on society. They “drain” resources, millions of
dollars, to attempt cures that are probably impossible, or at very least
ease their pain and suffering so they can enjoy longer days learning,
laughing, and loving with their friends and family. They are just alive,
but that is not enough for some in the name of responsibility. The
logic that leads one to destroy a large family also leads one to destroy
I do not advocate destroying the earth
because God’s going to give us a new one anyway. My family attempts to
live an eco-friendly life, and I wish I could make greater sacrifices in
that regard. The greatest drain on our resources is insisting on
constant use of electricity, fossil fuels, and forest destruction for
the sake of “progress.” It is not family. We traded family for material
means, and now that the earth is being destroyed we blame families
rather than materialism.
Underneath the family
Christmas tree is a gift bag with a Byzantine icon of the nativity. The
Child is framed in the classic golden halo that indicates divinity. He
is born to a teenage mother out of wedlock in an impoverished setting.
He has come to say all things are held together in Him, and without Him
we can do nothing. He has come to take us into His hand, and no one may
pluck us out. Life, breath, trees, lights, smiles, children, parents,
the aged, all of have meaning.
The Child is under the
tree, and I see Him now. The bloody universe pulses around Him, groaning
for release and twinkling with His life. The icon is misleading in its
cleanliness. Birth’s not tidy because love never is. Not this side of
heaven. We cry for life in this vale of tears. In the heights of our
hypocrisy we make these cries as we murder each other and the gifts He