Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Pain of Giving Life

I was young, maybe 7, maybe 10, when I saw my grandfather jump over a fence and rush to a cow that was lying on her side, bellering out in pain. The cow had been in labor for a while but now something was wrong.

I stood tiptoe on the bottom rung of the gate, studying intently the wild eyes of the mama cow, like she was pleading with me to help her - but I was just a kid. I didn't know what to do. The truth was, there was nothing I could do.

I watched as grandpa took baler twine and tied it around two small hooves sticking out of the mother. I watched as my grandfather kicked the mama cow. Kicked her hard. And he kept kicking as she struggled to her knees, hollering in pain as she reluctantly made her way standing.

I watched as my grandfather started pulling on that twine. Pulling hard. Pulling hard on little legs sticking out -

"NO! STOP!" I screamed. "YOU'RE HURTING HER!"

I became so angry at my grandfather. Hating him for what he was doing - yanking and pulling and swatting at the mama so she couldn't lay down. Didn't he see how much pain this was causing? Why was he okay with her being hurt? Why was he doing this?

In the end, grandpa was right.

I wasn't a farmer. I wasn't able to see the whole picture. That the calf being born was having trouble coming out, which put the life of the mama cow in danger, along with the life of the calf itself.

I wasn't able to see that the calf had to be born. That it wasn't meant to stay inside it's mother forever. Staying meant dying.

I wasn't able to see that the pain the mama went through was a necessary part of giving her baby life.

But now I do.

Now, I see how Avery wasn't meant to stay in this earthly world. She needed to be pulled out so she could live on forever. As a Christian, Avery believed that this world was just a waiting room; a womb to grow in until it was time to be birthed into heaven.

And that birthing caused great pain. It hurt. It hurt so many people. I can't help but think about Jadrian screaming out at the accident scene, "WAKE! UP! WAKE! UP!" Oh, the overwhelming amount of confusion and fear and frustration and anger as to what she was witnessing: Didn't God see how much pain this was causing? Why was He okay with her being hurt? Why was He doing this?

I'm not God. I'm not able to see the whole picture. But I know this: earth isn't our forever home. And now I know that the pain a mama goes through is a necessary part of her baby's eternal life.

That calf ended up being more than okay. Gamboling across pens to lick the hands of children, growing up big and strong and, well, incredibly happy. Because it didn't hold a single memory of any pain or hurt it may have gone through to get there.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow,
nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.
Revelation 21:4


Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

I read your posts and I always just want to whisk you away from your pain for a moment... or a few hours, or a weekend at a spa/beach place where attractive men serve us drinks with tiny umbrellas... and give you hugs and make you laugh. Beautifully written, as usual.

Stumbling Towards Perfect said...

Writing definitely whisks away the pain for a moment. That being said, I'm totally up for a weekend retreat featuring tiny umbrellas and attractive men. :)