Within a month of each other, several things happened–
- A beloved family member who, like you, does not believe in God, said that if I believe in Hell, I should be trying to convince you of its reality and horror all the time.
- Several states, most notably Georgia, passed pro-child legislation restricting abortion and received fury for it from people who regard abortion as categorical maternal right.
- I read about a doctor who received NIH funds to carefully, (without anesthesia because it would adulterate their tissue “donations”) extract babies in their second and third trimester whole in order to use their prenatal livers to revive adult livers.
- And a single wasp stung me above the left eye.
I know how much you believe in abortion. I know how little you believe in God, yet I believe that the first abortion happened when a literal and real woman (like you and me) murdered all of us with a powerful and deadly choice in a garden we call Eden.
She made a choice, we make choices
As women, as mothers, as friends
To intervene for either life or death.
I believe in a literal hell, literal hells, already clearly delineated in our history of meat shields in steppe conquests, gladiatorial death matches, the ridiculous and deadly crusades, the Inquisition, bubonic plague, and in our case the body of every one of those meticulously harvested prenatal humans, old enough to live outside their mother’s wombs long enough for the doctor to use their pieces and ignore the sum of those parts.
Because livers are so necessary to scrub the toxins in the blood…even the flooding, momentarily excruciating wasp toxin.
You will think it strange that I thought of you and others who do not believe in Hell when I reeled into the pain of that single sting. I thought about how terrible it would be not to believe in the soaring truth of 1 Corinthians–“Oh, death, where is thy sting?”
No accident I write this to you on Father’s Day. When I lost my father it was so devastating–how could death have lost its sting if that single death hurt so much?
You know what I believe–I will see my father again one day, because Jesus took the real sting.
Catastrophically painful, eternal, and all of our faults. Sometimes no bigger than a wasp’s sting in the dark, or smaller than each prenatal human’s carefully extracted extinction.
But there in the Cross–
Our hell, our iterations of hell
Whether we believe in them or not.
Dear, you will and always and eternally be, dear, very dear to me.
So much so that I would risk your real and legitimate anger if it might spare you the measure of that incomprehensible Corinthian sting.