By Kevin Burke, LSW
Given how the coronavirus impacts the medically vulnerable and elderly, as we ease the lockdowns and begin to open up our nation, many citizens are asking their leaders:
Did we do enough to protect the most vulnerable in our communities?
Many governors and city mayors took extreme measures to shut down state and local economies, to ensure that most healthy adults (who are low risk for the virus) remained sheltered in-home, with the goal of decreasing the spread of the virus.
But some of our public officials are being criticized for not being as vigilant with their nursing homes and older adult communities – those most vulnerable to the virus.
Arthur Goldberg asks in his article, The Covid Nursing Home Scandal, what happened to the right to life?
“… the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania…ordered nursing homes and other long-term senior care facilities to admit medically stable residents that may have been infected with coronavirus. By inadequately protecting the frail and elderly in such facilities, higher levels of Covid-19 deaths have occurred. At the same time, we’ve witnessed an articulated strategy of locking down and quarantining the healthy.” (Read the rest here.)
Father’s Day Grief
Like those public officials who neglected vulnerable older adults during the pandemic, some men will be reminded around the time of Father’s day that there was a vulnerable person(s) entrusted to their care, that they failed to protect.
There is a child missing from their Father’s day celebration; a Father’s day card that will never be written.
They may have convinced their girlfriend, partner or wife that abortion was the best solution to an unplanned pregnancy. Others men may have experienced the emotional trauma of being unable to prevent the death of their son or daughter in the womb.
Most men understand that protecting their children and family members is an essential part of their vocation as fathers. It is natural at this time that they may connect with feelings of shame, guilt and grief.
From one of the hundreds of testimonies on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website, Robert Shares:
I still feel the pain of my lost fatherhood…especially on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, when all the parents stand for a blessing and my wife and I have to sit there. Robert’s Full Testimony Here
Men without living children may not publicly celebrate Father’s Day, but they too are fathers of children lost to abortion.
In a mysterious way, like a Father’s Day card from Heaven, those unborn children cry out to their fathers calling them to reconciliation with God and a deeper healing of their loss.
Turning the Hearts of Fathers – Be Not Afraid
In Luke’s Gospel we hear the Old Testament prophecy of Malachi fulfilled in the mission of John the Baptist:
He will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward their children and prepare a people fit for the Lord. – Luke 1, 10-17
June of the Shockwaves Initiative we focus on Father’s Day and the opportunity for our faith communities to reach out to the millions of men in their congregations who have experienced this loss.
- Our marriage was in deep turmoil following the abortion. My wife was engaged in numerous affairs afterward. 13 years later, we divorced. Our whole family suffered greatly during these times. – Joseph’s Full Testimony Here
- That hidden shame and guilt caused me to go into a downward spiral of lying, cheating, pornography and addiction to alcohol. – Mathew’s Testimony
The Good News of Healing
The good news for God’s people is that after going through a healing program men are restored and renewed in their vocations as men, husbands and fathers.
[Here’s an original song I wrote, entitled “Its True” about a man facing a secret wound from his past and the freedom and peace that can come with bringing light into that darkness.]
Photograph of Father and Son courtesy of Daneila Dimitrova