Sunday I shared on our struggle to understand dying. I’m not sure everyone got what I was trying to do, that is, get us to think about the choices we make and how they affect so many people. The last entry (this journal) was an exercise in that also. I’ll readily admit that the Terri Schiavo situation could not have been more complicated or fraught with emotional landmines. As is usual, some folks seem to get it, and others, of which I respect dearly, had some very good questions about where my line of thinking was heading. I don’t have all the answers, but this is a dialogue we need to enter into.
As a community of faith I believe we should have a voice in this serious debate. I know some believe anyone of strong faith should stay the heck out. I heard an author say this recently. He believes the church has no right, no voice, no authority to share in this discussion and to help make the decisions about life and death. But if we are Christ’s expression on this earth, then surely His concern and love for every person, no matter their physical or mental state, should be our concern.
After studying the history of euthanasia, especially in this country and in Holland, I am convinced that our choices today can reap untold consequences in future generations. It’s personal- life and death. I know that, and I’m not too proud to say that if one of my loved ones were where Terri was, that I wouldn’t be tempted to do any different.
History sings a song that often is not heard in the present because of the raging winds of the existing storm. Our choices today do indeed reap consequences not just for us, but also for others, sometimes many years and generations later.
One day God will wipe every tear from every eye and there will cease to be situations to wrestle with like Terri’s. Until then, we must not shy away from engaging in a very serious dialogue concerning the sanctity and value of every life. Our actions will yield results for those we love and many we don’t even know. It’s really not all about us, or our present situation.