Why Easter is so emotional to us?

Our daughter, Rahel (17) had a school-assignment to write something about abortion and present that before her whole class. She has decided to use that opportunity to share something very personal. This is the story she was reading: "In the hospital in front of the ultrasound examining room they are calling the number for the second time: 2574. That’s hers. Why are they calling her back? She steps into the room. They do a test one more time. The lady behind the monitor frowns.

Come back in 30 minutes, the chief doctor will be back, wants to see this and talk to you– says the lady.

–There is a large cyst in the brain of the fetus–says the chief doctor after doing the ultrasound test the third time. –We don’t know for sure what that means–he continues–but it’s your own interest to give birth to a healthy child.

After hearing this harsh verdict, she felt like she was in a fog as she was going down the stairs leaving the hospital. She had no strength to get on to the public transportation, because staring the indifferent expressions on people’s face would have increased her pain. She got into a cab and her tears started flowing. The driver was surprised, but understood they can’t have a discussion now. There were great silence in the cab as they approached her home. She called her husband immediately after arriving to their small appartment. Her husband ran from his office. They were puzzled and didn’t know what to do with this information. They had four days before they needed to show up at a special hospital for further, detailed tests. The next day was Good Friday, than Easter – their favorite holiday. She made their favorite food, but her tears were falling into the pastry. The baby in her womb kicked her even harder. Does she tries to comfort her or telling something to her? This baby will be born, no matter what. After Easter they went to the hospital. More bad news were waiting for them.

–Probably, this baby will have down-syndrome or will have other kind of serious handicap–sounded the diagnosis of another specialist.

She is in the 20th weeks of her pregnancy. The doctor offered abortion, but the couple didn’t want to hear about it. The doctor was upset and started yelling: –You’ll give birth to a handicap child and she will be a burden on the society! But the couple was unshakable. Hundreds of their friends started praying. But further difficult news were waiting for them. Every second week they had to go to further ultrasound tests. They’ve discovered a dilation, basically there is a hole in the baby’s brain. The doctor said, 1/3 of the baby’s brain is not there. Now they had to sign a document that they are not willing to abort the baby. The last month of the pregnancy arrived. They acted like every other couple did who were expecting their first baby. They bought a baby-bed, a stroller and baby clothes. They went to work, were eating and tried to sleep. At the end of the 41st week the doctor induced the labor. The attempt was unsuccessful. Finally they decided to have a C-section. Soon she heard from afar the doctor’s voice: 'Pulling out!' In one minute their whole life will be different. Five months of anxious time compressed into one minute: what kind of handicap will the baby have? The doctor shouts: 'A healthy girl!' *1

'I'm this healthy girl'–continued Rahel the story.

Rahel’s classmates listened silently and many of them were in tears – along with her teacher - as she shared her own story!  It became obvious to her classmates that if her parents would have aborted her, she wouldn’t be their classmate and friend now.

After the presentation was over, she wrote a text message to us: “Thank you that you wanted me!!! God’s wonderful gift is that I have such parents like you!” We are just amazed what God had been doing in the past 18 years since that sorrowful Easter!

Easter is the most beautiful holiday for us, but it’s the most emotional, too. 18 years ago we got a very difficult news. 18 years later God used that difficult news to touch many teenagers!  These students know Rahel well. They know her heart, her faith and her academic performance. Rahel’s story brought the horror of abortion to a very personal level to her classmates.

We are preparing for Easter. But death needs to happen before resurrection! Facing the truth of pain and suffering puts grace and redemption into context and gives meaning to them. The painful death of our Savior makes the life of resurrection incomparably valuable! 

Easter is about resurrection - but only for those who has died for themselves!

*1 - The original version of the story was written by my wife, Edina Gresz and was published in the Nők Lapja (Women's Magazin).