Posts Tagged ‘death’

The Obligation to Die

October 13, 2016

A Pro Life article in the National Review yesterday entitled “Doctors are wrong about Down’s Syndrome”, suggested there is great, almost extreme pressure on parents who learn their unborn child has Down’s Syndrome to abort that child.  The article goes on to suggest that before long insurance companies may refuse to insure Down’s Syndrome children, essentially forcing the parents into a financial catastrophe if they allow the child to be born.  Since the stated goal of the majority party in this country is a single payer, government medical insurance system, how long will it be before the right to abortion becomes forced abortion?

The article brought up to me the next logical step.  If we are forced to abort the disabled, will we be forced to assist the disabled and sick elderly to commit suicide?  And how long will it be before the right to suicide becomes the obligation to suicide and then forced suicide?  National Health Insurance in some other countries is now denying a whole host of available medical options to people above a given age, regardless of their state of health.  In fact, a system of quality points ( aging decreases quality points) determines who benefits from the limited healthcare available.  The fact an 80 year old may be thoughtful and productive means nothing if their age determines their quality points.  The one healthcare option available to the elderly is the “Liverpool Option”, in which an ailing person denied medical care is placed on a morphine drip and allowed to dehydrate to death–usually accomplished in hospice in several days.  Otherwise they may painfully die of their disease, their other option.

It is also possible that social security may be cut off at some arbitrary age.  An elderly person who is not disabled, but no longer considered employable may lose everything and then be forced to accept assisted suicide.  Of course, this would favor the powerful at the expense of the masses.

These are all things to consider.  We think they couldn’t happen, but there was a time in this country when abortion was not acceptable either.  Now we dismember viable fetuses and sell their parts.  When the standard is not that humans are valuable by virtue of being God’s creation, but humans are valuable according to their utility to the society, anything can happen.  The powerful decide who is valuable.

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Homecoming

February 20, 2010

I watched a scene at the airport where a father greeted his daughter.  They smiled and hugged and laughed.  They couldn’t wait to go home and see everyone.  Is this what it will be like when you come for your loved ones, Jesus?  I know you said you’d come to us when all is ready, to take us where you are.  I always thought your eyes would be kind.  What never occurred to me is that we might run toward each other, laughing and hugging, and racing for home because we can’t wait for me to see everyone.  And yet, why shouldn’t it be this way ?  If we humans, sinful as we are, feel so much joy in seeing our favorite people, surely you do, too.  The father of the prodigal son, after all, is a picture of you.  Lord, that you should be glad to see me, is just more than I can comprehend.  It brings tears to my eyes.

What Really Matters After All

November 19, 2009

When you become older, there are many more funerals to attend.  My contemporaries are beginning to leave life.  I celebrated the life of yet another friend today, and it gave me a lot of food for thought.   A half century ago, I would have thought of this person as old, but today he is younger than me.  Where did the time go?  Life passes swiftly.  I was always told that truth when young, and I never really believed it.  But its true.  And I wonder, given the swiftness of life, what really matters, after all.

Here are some thoughts from a senior citizen on what really matters.  I write this from the perspective of someone who believes in eternal life with Jesus Christ.

1.  If  life is really about an eternity with Jesus and not so much about a rapidly ticking life clock down here, asking myself the question “How important is this issue in the light of eternity” solves a whole lot of worries for me.

2.  If all I can take with me is people and relationships, I want to be sure the people I love know Jesus.  If those who run from Jesus will persish, then being sure as many people as possible know Him is the most important issue of life.

3.  I would worry a whole lot less about my resume.  God has always used the willing, not the accomplished.  He always prepares people to do what He has planned for them.  Its impossible to prepare myself when I don’t know what He will eventually ask of me.  He knows, and He is already doing the preparing.

4.  I would worry a whole lot less about what I’ve accomplished in life.  God is accomplishing things through my life provided I am willing and obedient to what He puts in front of my nose.  Only as I am obedient to what He obviously wants me to do, will He show me more of His plans for my world.

5.  I would worry absolutely not at all about what people think.  In the light of eternity its not important at all.  Only what God thinks will last.

6.  I would worry less about the state of the world, how bad things are, politics and the economy.  God is still in charge, and unless there is a moral issue on which He wants me to take a stand, or a problem I can fix or someone I can help, I need to remember all this is passing away very quickly.

7.  My relationship with Jesus is the most important thing of all, since it will be the primary relationship in eternity.  I need to nurture that relationship ahead of everything else.

8.  I want to leave things to my grandchildren and great grandchildren that strengthen their own walks with Jesus.  Thats the one gift that will keep on giving after I have moved on.

I loved how the service was called a Celebration of Life.  For a Christian, its really more like a graduation than a death.  We weep because we will miss our loved one, but we also weep for joy because we know where they have gone.

Daddy’s Voice

August 10, 2009

When Jesus comes for each of us, the sight of Him will be awesome.  In every instance recorded in scripture where people were visited by heavenly beings, they were so frightened they fell down or fell back.  Yet to His own, He always said, “Do not be afraid.”  If we are His, if we have been living a relationship with Him, we will recognize the voice, and the words will be familiar.  He will speak to us by name and we will know Him.  If we do not know Him, His majesty will so terrify us, we shall run away.  With our backs to Him and our feet carrying us, we shall run to the outer darkness.  What is Hell, but the dark place where God’s presence doesn’t exist.

Grateful for Faith

August 8, 2009

I feel overwhelmed today.  I just feel so much gratitude for my Christian faith.  I remember a time when I wasn’t sure that God existed.  I didn’t know the history of Jesus, and how he rose from the dead.  I didn’t know all the proofs that he is God.  I didn’t know His promises of eternal life.  I was afraid of death.  I was afraid of bad happenings after death.  I was also afraid that death might be the end.

Humans are the only beings on earth with self awareness.  We know we exist.  We are able to wonder why we exist.  We are aware of our mortality.  We are able to wonder what happens after our death.  Our awareness would be cruel if we didn’t have any answers, or if our lives were so short and death was final.  What would be the purpose of all we learned and all the loves in our lives?  What would be the point of a love that was so great you couldn’t believe it would one day die, if that were all there was…the death of love.  But then I began to learn and discover the promises of Jesus Christ.

No other religion has the promise of the Christian faith.  With some religions the best I can hope for is some kind of melding with the eternal–a loss of my self.  With other religions, I can only hope for some eternal reward from a God who is quite unknowable, not at all personal, and quite arbitrary.  With other religions, notably atheism and agnosticism, I can hope for, well, nothing at all.  That is my best hope with atheism–that there is nothing following this life.

Christian faith offers a personal God, a God who has had our experience of human life and understands what that is like to be human.  Christian faith offers the promise of God that life can be forever.  Christian faith offers the love of God, grace, forgiveness and the promise of a future home being prepared just for us.  It is backed up by the historical evidence of Jesus life, the miracles that proved his credibility as God, and His resurrection which proves His promise of eternal life to be true.  The resurrection of Jesus is one of the best attested facts in history.  If one were to throw out His history, we would have to throw out history books completely. 

I’m grateful for the Christian faith’s promises, I am grateful for a God who loves his creatures, and I am grateful He never made it necessary for our faith in Him to be a blind faith.

Victory over Death

January 4, 2009

I will admit I can’t understand why death is still around if Jesus died to defeat our death.  He paid the price, he defeated sin, death and Satan.  Why then, do humans still die, and especially why do his followers still die?  Why don’t we just get “beamed up” into heaven?

I had some insight into this question a couple of years ago when I talked with a medical researcher who studied death and near death and the hormonal and chemical changes which occur at the time of death.  She told me that when the organ systems begin irreversible failure the body produces huge amounts of endorphins and other chemicals which produce a euphoria.  Its why so many people who have recounted a near death experience talk of feeling at peace and detached from the process.

Then I read in the bible where it says Jesus tasted death so we wouldn’t have to.  I had always thought of it in the spiritual sense of not having to  experience separation from God, blackness or something like that.  But here was evidence that we are indeed delivered from the physical experience of bodily death, and this  is universal whether the person was a believer or not.  Jesus, indeed conquered death in the physical sense, for us all.  Thank you Jesus.

Spiritual death, is, something else entirely, and we have a choice in whether we experience it.  If we reject His grace, there’s nowhere else to go but away from Him.  If we accept His gift of grace, we live with him forever, and never, ever experience separation from Him.  What a gift, especially since every one of us has been an ungrateful child who thought at some point we didn’t need Him.

Jesus, thank you for the gift of eternal life with you.  I want you, and the life you offer.  I can’t live without you and I never want to try.  I’m sorry I haven’t been as loving toward you as you deserve.  Help me love you more.

A Prayer for a Dog

March 27, 2008

When Nonni lost her little Tessie a couple of years ago, she wrote a prayer for the dog.  Not too bad a way to deal with grief, I think.

 “Lord, I know You loved all creation, even the animals.  It says so in the book of Job, and Jesus, you said the father feeds the sparrows and knows even when one falls out of its nest.  You made Tessie, knowing all along she would be my dog, and You loved her, as You love a single sparrow.  You have also promised that You have redeemed all creation and that the creation longs for the day when it will be freed from suffering and see the new Earth.  Lord, I know this isn’t a specific promise about Tessie, but she’s a part of the creation You have redeemed and loved.  So, Lord, I’ll trust you with Tessie’s fate, not because you’ve given us the complete answer about our pets, but because the more I’ve learned about Your character, the more I trust You.

I loved that dog too, and miss her still.

Michelle