“Church after the rain,” Frankfurt, Germany

Positive Adoption Language

By Infertility, Uncategorized 3 Comments

When my daughter, Alexandra, arrived home from school today, she told me one of the girls in her class didn’t “get” adoption. Apparently this fellow student looked down on Alexandra and asked, “Why don’t you go back to your old parents?” Sadly, when Alexandra tried to explain, she didn’t get far. Almost ten years ago, Gary and I rejoiced over the arrival of the girl—an eight-month-old, dark-haired, blue-eyed baby—who came storming into our lives. (Alexandra does nothing subtly.) Her adoption is a fact of her life that we discuss openly and with enthusiasm. And we do so using positive language—adoption vocabulary chosen to assign the maximum dignity to the way our family has been built. It is language that has helped us to eliminate some of the emotional overcharging that for years has helped perpetuate the myth that being part of an adoption means that one has somehow missed out…

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Of Spiders and Reproductive Technologies

By Bioethics, Infertility, Uncategorized 3 Comments

One of my favorite seminary courses was a media arts class in creative writing. Near the beginning of the semester, the prof gave us an assignment to write something relating to spiders or webs. Having just read Proverbs 6:6 (“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise”), I came up with the following: Why does He tell us to go to the ant?Why not the spider who toils all night weaving web in time for morning dew?The ant—he hustles to maintain; but spider—she spins, a pirouette of beauty in her work. Isn’t she more like Him than he?Like the woman in fine purple, she toils, her hands grasping the spindle.Along with some heroes from B-rated movies, we think of black widows, deception, the kill. But spider is regal. She’s far underrated.Why does He tell us to go to the ant? My professor wrote a reply that…

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Truth: A Casualty in the Schiavo Case?

By Bioethics, Uncategorized 2 Comments

The best workshop I attended at the Evangelical Press Association meeting in Chicago this year was the one covering bioethical issues. It was led by a high-ranking Christian doc at a US well-known med institution. And we discussed the Schiavo case at length. In one sense that’s old news; on the other hand, the issues are not going to go away… So let me begin by asking, Do you think the journalistic coverage by the secular media was fair? What about that of the Christian media? Both sides of the journalistic coverage on that case, it seems, were slanted. We expect the secular press to get it wrong. But the Christians also “missed it” considerably in several ways. Here are some questions to consider: 1. Do we really believe parents’ rights trump spouses’ rights. What does it mean to “leave and cleave”? Do good parents trump a lousy spouse? Do…

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Infertility Tries Patients’ Patience

By Infertility, Uncategorized One Comment

Last week was Mother’s Day. And once again I watched a lot of people around me hurt. Mother’s Day, like all holidays, can be difficult for some. Those who have lost or are estranged from parents or children feel tinges of pain on the day set aside for honoring mothers. Yet the infertile find Mother’s Day particularly painful. For them it serves as a reminder of the gift they long to have but that continually evades them. The subject of infertility is surrounded by many myths. So we’ll look at some questions/answers that help us put a few of them to rest: Are infertility and sterility the same thing?Infertility is not sterility. Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected relations and/or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term (600,000 women miscarry in the U.S. each year). Secondary infertility is the diagnosis when couples who have…

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Sunday Meditation: The Queen and Miss Congeniality

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The biblical character, Esther, has a few things in common with “Miss Congeniality.” No, really. I admit to loving that movie–as do most of the girls in my extended family. Call us shallow, but we love to get together to watch Sandra Bullock morph from a clumsy FBI agent with scary eyebrows and nasty hair into an undercover (and actually believable) beauty pageant contestant. Bushy-browed undercover agent becomes believable pageant contestant; little no-name orphan girl becomes the Queen of Persia. See the similarity? It’s all about the big reversal of events. In the case of Esther, you-know-Who was working undercover. We never hear His name mentioned, but he leaves fingerprints everywhere. After we read the entire biblical story, we get the point the author is making: The God of Israel shows loyal love time and again to His covenant people; the Almighty Lord is sovereign in all His dealings; and…

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I post on the Engage blog for women in leadership at Bible.org every other Tuesday.

On the Nightstand/In My Kindle
Silence, by Shusaku Endo; Silence and Beauty, by Makoto Fujimura; The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, by C. S. Lewis; The Image of God in an Image Driven Age, ed. by Beth Felker Jones and Jeffrey W. Barbeau; Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, by Lauren Winner.

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