To President George W. Bush: Mr. President, I’m writing to tell you that I watched the eulogy you gave your dad this week, and it hit me hard. I thought you were going to get through it without giving into emotion, but right at the end, grief snuck up on you and did a sucker punch to your gut. The tears came.
I was not prepared for the phone call I received on May 26, 1994. It came from my mother, who was letting me know she was worried. “Joshua, I’m just calling because I want to remind you to be careful today. There was a teenage girl who was killed in a horrible car accident this morning.”
Last summer, my dad was in crisis. He was in the hospital after another near miss with death, and based on his track record, it would kill him if he went back to his old apartment and tried to live independently. And while I couldn’t imagine sending him to a nursing facility, we didn’t have a lot of options.
Last autumn, my brother Caleb and I knew our father didn’t have much time left. He had been in the hospital intensive care unit three times in one year and although his mind was clear, his heart was failing. But he refused to admit it – and that presented a minor problem.
Several years ago in my hometown, a man was driving down the highway with his wife when a tree fell down across the highway, landed right on the cab of their pickup truck, and killed them both. Later that week, I was in a church service in which the pastor referenced the freak accident and said, “Do you think that kind of thing happened by accident? There’s no way.”
I’ve recently experienced a breakthrough with a years-long relationship with fear. The topic pricks a lot of people’s hearts because so many of us live with it, and we don’t even realize it. It’s important to identify it and acknowledge it if we’re going to get free from it. This is my story of how God has been helping me do that. I shared it in this video on my Facebook page:
Last week in Chicago, a man found a newborn baby girl lying on the ground outside his apartment. Her umbilical cord was still attached and she was barely alive after suffering blunt force trauma. She died shortly thereafter, and police later discovered that she had been thrown from a ninth story window by her mother.
People talk about the gay rights movement, and they remark how the TV show “Will & Grace” was the cultural turning point in that battle. I’m beginning to think that, with these undercover Planned Parenthood videos, the pro-life movement is having its own, viral “Will & Grace” moment.
The other day, I let my three-year-old daughter ride her scooter on the sidewalk in front of our house, despite my irrational fear of her suddenly being kidnapped by a random psychopath. I wasn’t especially worried about it because I was landscaping just a few feet away. Occasionally, I looked down the slope from our house to make sure she wasn’t going too far down the sidewalk.
My mother did not expect to miscarry her first child. She was young and healthy and four months pregnant. She was too far along to miscarry. Yet in the early hours of a December morning, she began experiencing severe pain in her abdomen. It was happening.