Last time (see “Death: It’s What’s On The Menu”), as we dove into the topic of Easter, we looked at Job 40:15-24 and I asked you if anyone has ever told you that you look like you eat well. Or perhaps, “You have a big mouth.”
Random, for sure. But it was different, and when it comes to celebrating Easter, that’s exactly what some of us “veterans” really need. Although we’re familiar, we always need the Gospel to be fresh!
We then briefly looked at Job the man, the book, and a mythical creature, Behemoth, found in chapter forty. There are two camps of interpretation regarding Behemoth: literal, physical, land-dwelling creature (perhaps still alive today) and the other…
Hold that thought.
With your permission, I want to get a bit personal here. Not that anything I write is “impersonal” per se, however, when I contemplate death and life, especially in light of the Christian hope (see 1 Corinthians 15), I immediately jump to my family’s recent and still very current journey.
A year ago my wife and I received some of the worst news any parent could ever imagine. She was pregnant with our third child, Elias, and it was time for us to go in for her first, routine ultrasound. We noticed, however, that the tech took much longer than any other had with our daughters.
We left the office with no information but a grieving suspicion. A couple hours later our midwife called; there were “concerns” discovered with the brain, spine, and back. We would have to go to a specialist to confirm these discoveries.
Enter the SEPARATION from normal, expected, routine…from peace.
Visiting a doctor has never been an enjoyable experience for me. Is it ever for anyone? This discomfort was brought to a new level though because we already knew there was a problem. Worse yet, the problem wasn’t even with me but my unborn son.
Enter the SEPARATION from comfort and joy.
The tech at the specialist’s office took a long time as well, efficiently capturing every detail. And then we saw the doctor…
The condition discovered at the first doctor was confirmed — Arnold Chiari Malformation (more commonly, spina bifida).
I recall having my gut sink within me. I was flooded with so many thoughts and feelings instantaneously, all negative. And then the doctor said this: “I feel horrible in mentioning this, but legally I have to make you aware of your right to abort.”
Enter the SEPARATION from reasoning, control, and sight.
Now, I have thought through and studied the topic of abortion for years. I knew where I stood theologically, philosophically, and politically. I must admit, though, that for a brief moment I literally felt a duality swell up within me. It was an out-of-body experience as I pondered, “Oh, wow! Someone cares and actually wants to help us! They know how I feel, and there is a way out!”
Enter the SEPARATION from ease.
Shortly thereafter, I came to my senses. I no longer was lingering on a proverbial cliff but a tension overtook me. I was finally getting a son, my namesake, and I remember not wanting this.
I wanted a SEPARATION from my life, from the an unknown, challenging future that now held my family in a vise grip.
Remember Job? Recall the mysterious creature Behemoth and what God was doing at that point in the book? Job’s assertiveness against God was being flipped on its head and God was humbling Job. This righteous man could not handle Behemoth, and now I faced a behemoth that I could not handle.
I was surely made small. My son, prior to coming into our world, had the curse of death upon him. Sound like anyone? (see Heb. 2:9)
Perhaps you are facing a “behemoth.” Or perhaps yours, like mine last year, is yet to be birthed…but you know it’s coming! Before life had a chance to bloom the curse of death pervaded. How do you stand, let alone move forward?
More to come…
Until then, stay hungry hipsters because death is on the menu!