A Georgia woman named Nirvana Jenette claims she was kicked out of church for breastfeeding, the pastor ordering her to nurse the baby in the bathroom and calling her behavior 'lewd,' comparing her to a stripper.

As a culture we're no strangers to boobage—and not just in music videos and Victoria's Secret commercials. It's not unusual to see professional women's necklines plunging so low so as nearly to permit nursing with little further exposure. Nor is it rare to see suburban teens posing provocatively in photos on social media.

Yet strangely, we are still squeamish about breastfeeding. It's breastfeeding dolls—not Bratz or Barbies—-that are considered inappropriate for children and disgusting. Similarly, breastfeeding moms are, like Jennette, asked to leave courtrooms and churches, while photos of breastfeeding babes are blocked from Facebook.

Even in cultures that are, by North American standards, very traditional and modest, breastfeeding is accepted without hesitation as the natural, God-designed act that it is. My dad—a pastor who travels regularly to Guatemala to study language and to work with various mission partners there—tells me that he commonly sees women nursing comfortably and openly in the front row as he preaches in even the most conservative of evangelical churches.

I'm grateful to have been able to breastfeed my children. For me, it wasn't only about providing my children what's best for them. It was also about caring for them in the way God says he cares about his children.

I breastfed my youngest son until he was nearly out of diapers, partly because he loved it and never wanted to quit. I was also motivated to continue because, unlike his older brother, my youngest seemed to catch every virus, bacteria, and malaise that came his way: a serious respiratory infection at six months, a fever complicated by heatstroke when he was one, a multidrug resistant staph infection at 18 months, with others in between and after. Each time, his illnesses not only lingered but were complicated by vomiting, dehydration, and terrifying weight loss. More than a few times before his 3rd birthday, breast milk was the only thing he could manage to get down. His doctors agreed that continued breastfeeding was a good idea for my then-fragile (now, thank God, sturdy) son.

When he was one year old and decidedly cherubic—with chubby pink cheeks and golden curls—my family visited Rome, and, of course, Vatican City. I was prepared with skirts and modest tops for visiting St. Peter's, but I hadn't considered for a moment that breastfeeding might break the rules of modesty. So when my little cherub was hungry, I settled cross-legged in a corner, in sight of Michelangelo's Pieta—that haunting sculpture where Mary cradles the broken body of her Son—and began to nurse, identifying, maybe for the first time, with Jesus' mom as I cradled by own boy.

Seconds later, a uniformed guard came along, slapping his chest and saying, emphatically, "Latte, latte!? Latte? Uh, downstair! Uh, da batroom!" Of course: he wanted me to go breastfeed in the bathroom. Because nursing my son in that space was equivalent to a plunging neckline or a miniskirt. I quietly and quickly complied, but I've never forgotten it: not simply because the "latte!" part was so funny to my Starbucks-trained ears, but also because breastfeeding is one of the most intimate, tender, and sacred acts I've ever engaged in, and it seemed perfectly appropriate in that sacred space. Breastfeeding is itself a work of art wrought by the Greatest Artist.

With characteristically refreshing honesty, God describes his care for his people in terms of a nursing mother:

"Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you." (Isa. 49:15)

"and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem." (Isa. 66:12)

Similarly, in Deuteronomy 32:11-13, and 18, Scripture speaks of God's wilderness provisions as God "suckling" Israel. I think breastfeeding is a beautiful picture of God's care: as babies crave not just nutrition but warmth and closeness, so we depend on God not simply for our daily bread alone but for the ongoing comfort and presence of the Holy Spirit.

If God sees no shame in nursing breasts, why should we?

Breastfeeding—a microcosmic picture of God's care, of tender fellowship over a meal; yea, of communion!—is not requisite for all women, some of whom have difficulty breastfeeding and shouldn't be shamed for this fact. But at root, breastfeeding is too beautiful to be put into the same category as wardrobe malfunctions or too-sheer Oscar gowns.

Can we cultivate a culture of respect—reverence, even—for this most basic act of nature? Can we resist the temptation to say 'eww' or to relegate babies and moms to the bathroom?

I think we can.

And Christians can—maybe should—lead the way.

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