The Sarcastic Shirt

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2008 01:34 PM, CDT

We were out with Isaac the other day. He was playing and I was feeling lonely for him that Peter was not there to join in the fun. Just then, a girl about 8 years old walked by in a T-shirt that read, “Brother for Sale. No price too low.” I wanted to cry.

I know that people who allow their children to wear such clothing are “just kidding”. But I was tempted to take Brad’s half-serious suggestion to actually offer to buy their kid. “Hi. My son is a really good brother, but both his siblings died before they were old enough to play with him. If you don’t want your son, I would gladly give you the balance of my son’s estate account for him!”

It reminds me of a news story a few months after Peter died. Another baby found in a dumpster. If only that desperate woman had known how many other families would be overjoyed to care for her baby! A girl’s sarcastic shirt is not infanticide, I know. But they both have roots in the culture of death. A cheapening of life. Taking people for granted.

I wish I could say that my grief has taken away all my sin and bad habits in this area. It has not! It has started to grow in me more appreciation, though, for my loved ones.

Since Gianna’s death, several people have told us that they have been taking stock of their own lives, asking why such tragedy has not touched them. What a blessing. In no way do we want anyone to feel guilty that their own children are healthy (isn’t it our desire that all children would be?). But it honors Peter and Gianna when other families listen a little more closely, face late night feedings with a little more patience, or hug a little tighter and longer. Just as cheapening of life deepens our grief, so does the cherishing of life lighten it.

We pray that our little baby saints would help mommy and daddy be the first to live in appreciation for the people we have been given.


1 Comment

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One response to “The Sarcastic Shirt

  1. I think it says a great deal about our society when we have T-shirts that say such things in jest. Having siblings can be such a blessing even if we look at it as a curse.

    My younger sister and I were very close when we were little. Yes, I slammed her fingers in a door once and nearly poked out her eye, but she’s done things like that to me as well. I think we grew up with the notion that when our parents passed away, we would have only each other. We are still close.

    In our society, though, I’ve heard more about bickering siblings than about siblings like my sister and myself. I wonder if it’s symptomatic of our society.

    I will be praying for you and I look forward to reading more.

    God bless and keep you always,

    Brother Juniper

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