By Dave Andrusko
As it happens I am a huge fan of the band Casting Crowns. More than once I have listened to a “greatest hits” album. Most recently, I listened (for the umpteenth time) to a collection that included “Just Another Birthday,” co-written by Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns.
No doubt because I am a dad with four daughters, a daughter in law, and one granddaughter, the song continues to pierce my heart. Here are a few thoughts about its unmistakably 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 27 years, first explained the origins of the song, he began by introducing Reagan, 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 dads in particular the kind of behavior we need to practice in our homes.
A great and achingly powerful video which you can listen to on YouTube.