An Agonizing Absence

Woman Praying in ChurchA barren friend recently confided to me, “I broke down crying the other day. I don’t really know why. I mean, I thought I would be over this by now.”

I don’t think we ever get over this barrenness thing, because no matter how comfortable we become, no matter how content we grow in our childlessness, it is still not the way things are supposed to be. God commanded us via Adam and Eve in the garden to be fruitful and multiply, and we know that it is God’s good will for us to have the blessing of children in marriage.

Yet, we don’t.

Our barren wombs are a reminder, a manifestation even, of the brokenness of this Sin-sick world, and, even though we are blessed and fruitful beyond measure today in Christ, the wrongness of our childless marriage still stings. And so we grieve.

Rev. Gregory Schulz describes it this way in The Problem of Suffering: A Father’s Hope:

[G]rief is love. This means that grief is a kind of care…Grief as care is an obsession, an attention – not to “mortality” or to “the human condition” – but to a person who is at the same time dearly loved and agonizingly absent. (Schulz, 102-3)

We cry, because our dearly loved children are agonizingly absent.