By Dave Andrusko
As is my habit, earlier this week, on my way home, I listened to a “greatest hits” album which included “Just Another Birthday,” co-written by Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns. (I am a huge fan of the band.)
For the umpteenth time (probably because I am a dad with four daughters), the song just pierced my heart. I promised myself I would write about its distinctly unmistakable pro-life message.
Beautifully sung, the message is clear from the first stanza. We learn the young woman has been separated from her dad for unexplained reasons. It’s now her 16th birthday and she thinks this is the one “When he would call me, see me. Hold me and free me. But it’s just another birthday.”
On her 19th birthday she is “wild-eyed and wide open. I gave myself away to love.” She becomes pregnant. The scene shifts to the abortion clinic where she does not know what to do. But in her hour of greatest need, abandoned by her own father and in the company of strangers, she calls on Jesus to “heal my brokenness. Put the pieces back together. And be a Father to the fatherless.”
The last stanza is her 21st birthday which she celebrates with her little “barefoot princess.” The last fifty words are profoundly moving, and are a beautiful testimony to the impact of choosing life.
Back when Mr. Hall, a youth pastor for 25 years, first explained the origins of the song, he began by introducing his then-eleven year old daughter who was obviously the light of his life.
She doesn’t need more stuff, he says. Reagan needs him, “her dad.” He tells all us dads/grandpas how important we are and the price paid when dads aren’t around.
Of course Mr. Hall isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know—that young girls need to know they are important and needed, and if they don’t get that affirmation at home “she is going to go somewhere else…” But he is telling us behavior we need to practice in our homes.
A great and achingly powerful video which you can listen to on Youtube.