Life, Death, and Charlotte’s Web

When author E.B. White recorded the audiobook version of his classic children’s story Charlotte’s Web, it took him seventeen tries to record the scene where Charlotte, the spider, dies.

He would begin weeping. The producer would stop the recording. They would take a walk outside and then come back and try it again.

Seventeen tries. You may scoff at the man’s emotional reaction to the death of a fictional arachnid, but Charlotte was his creation. All the details of love, loss, grief, and healing from White’s life were poured into the characters of Charlotte and Wilbur. His reality had found its way into his fiction to such an extent that he found it difficult to read it aloud without strong feeling.

Life and death impact us at our deepest personal level. We remember every word spoken at the loved one’s bedside as they pass away. We rehash the details and the decisions of what we could have done, what we would have done differently had we known that the end was near. 

Similarly, birth seems frozen in time as we remember and rejoice in every tiny breath drawn, the curl of the tiny finger around ours for the first time, what the doctor said, and even what the flowers smelled like when the florist brought them into the delivery room.

Our deepest emotions swirl around the beginning and the ending of life and death. 

We are God’s creation. All the details of His eternal life and existence were poured into us as we were made in His image. His reality found its way into what once did not exist in order to bring us into existence. Indeed, He poured Himself into “knitting” us together in our mothers’ wombs, writing each of our days in His book, before even one of them came to be.

The Author of Life must weep when His creation experiences death. He must weep when we choose sin, effecting spiritual death and separation from Him.

The Lord ended the separation that death brings when He offered eternal life. “Whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life,” Jesus said. The Apostle Paul wrote, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

How much more must our Creator mourn when His creation is cut off by death before it has even drawn the first breath?

This week, twenty-five small creations of the Master Author, who contain all the reality of His image and life, will be saved from certain death. The only abortion provider in North Dakota is now closed, and no abortions will take place on Wednesday. Those twenty-five babies will be given another chance to live and to know the One who loves them more than life itself- the One who is able to give them eternal life. 

We must continue to side with the Author of Life, in loving babies, moms, and families, as He does. We have grieved with Him in the loss of 63,459,781 babies to abortion since 1973, but now, we can rejoice with Him that though the enemy may come to steal, kill, and destroy, He has come that we may have Life, and have it abundantly!

“For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law…And Nehemiah said to them, ‘Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!’”

Charlotte’s Web is one of our favorites.
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