The Vice President’s Son Died, And I Think Nobody Noticed

I know what it is like to be a parent of three small children, but not what it is like to lose them.
I know what it is like to be a parent of three small children, but not what it is like to lose them.

The internet has exploded once again, thanks to Bruce Jenner’s interview in Vanity Fair where he laid out his decision to identify as a woman named Caitlin. There have been articles, tweets, and “Open Letter To…” blog posts that Jenner will never read. My twitter timeline became a long list of what people are against.

Vice President Joe Biden’s son died of brain cancer, and I’m not sure anyone noticed.

By the way, this isn’t the first time Biden went through something like this. When he was 29 years old, his wife and 1 year old daughter were killed in a horrific car accident. His two sons, aged 2 and 3, were seriously injured.

I didn’t see any “An Open Letter To Joe Biden” blog posts out there. Not from us, at least. There may have been… I just haven’t seen it. I’ve seen so many “Outraged” over a former Olympic Athlete dressed in women’s clothes on a magazine cover. I’m skeptical of “Outrage” when it amounts to clicks on a website and personal appearances on Fox News or CNN or whatever else.

I’m embarrassed.  I’ve spent my life telling my friends, neighbors, and coworkers about Jesus, how He loves us, and how He has over time changed who I am from the inside out. I’ve invited so many friends (and strangers) to sit with me in church for years. The reason I invite them is that I believe most people have no idea who Jesus really was or what He actually did as He walked the earth, took up the cross, and left the tomb. And I’m embarrassed because in a moment where empathy is the most valued commodity, “Outrage” instead has won the day. What I say about Jesus isn’t totally visible right now; we chose “outrage” over Jenner instead of empathy for Biden. I think we missed a moment.

I’m embarrassed because one of the most high profile people on planet earth lost a son to cancer, and most of us could care less. And I’m embarrassed because we were too busy to notice Joe Biden’s personal tragedy because we were too busy yelling, mocking, dismissing, and being “Outraged” blogging about Jenner.

Somehow, I suspect someone will be more concerned about my explanation about being “embarrassed” than about the reality of what’s happened to Joe Biden. More “Outrage” and less empathy.

And yes, I know. “Why do you care?” Maybe it is because I am also a father of three children. Or maybe it is because I know what it is like to have a one year old daughter in the hospital. More likely it is because Jesus by context of His entire life, seems to point His followers towards empathy here.

Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States, has lost a wife, a baby daughter, and now an adult son. You could send him a sympathy card. If you skip just one visit to Chik-fil-a or Hobby Lobby this week, you could pick up a card, sign it, buy a stamp, attach that stamp to the envelope, and place it in a mailbox.

Empathy is more valuable than Outrage.


Vice President Joe Biden

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington DC, 20500

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