Friday, June 17, 2005

Lives beginning, lives ending

This weekend I'm heading to Dubuque, Iowa for the wedding of my friend Laila. She and I were buddies through Pentateuch, my struggles with Greek (she's a language wiz!), and a number of other classes at LSTC. She and Nate have been engaged-in-the-heart much longer than they have been sporting rings, so this will be an enjoyable journey.

God is smiling on Chicago again...it's 64 degrees according to the WeatherBug, and it feels glorious - a blessed change from Monday's ghastliness. If I could write specs for Heaven, the skies would be this blue, the gentle breeze would have this rich, floral scent, and no one would be sweating, anywhere...

I'd commend to you this article on end-of-life decisions in today's NY Times. This quote seems to sum the article for me:
The results of Ms. Schiavo's autopsy, released on Wednesday, underscored the need to make one's wishes known, said Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. He noted that politicians had been eager to intervene in her case even though it was now evident that her brain was irredeemably damaged.

"The movement to say, 'You've got to have Tom DeLay act as a third-party surrogate witness before you can have medical treatment stopped' seemed to be irrefutably silenced by the autopsy report," Dr. Caplan said.
That would be my deepest prayer - but I don't think James Dobson and Tom DeLay are going to roll over that quickly. After all, it's the same group who pulled the plug on Terri - those "doctors who like to play God" - who performed the autopsy. And it's those "activist lawyers and judges" who are writing these advanced-directive documents...

I'd also urge you to follow the link to the interactive media presentation on people's advance directives. I've been putting off making my own advanced directives document - but I know that it's got to be done. I don't want some yo-yo that I don't know (there's a Dr. Seuss book in there, somewhere...) making decisions about my life because they think they know what's best for me. So far, I haven't found either the government or the church to hit the mark in that way very often!

And, while you're at it (since we haven't mentioned the "H-word" in a while), check out this article in Relevant magazine titled, So You Say Your Friend Is Gay. An interesting article, with comments that (typically) run the gamut from "hate the sin, love the sinner" to this classic question:
What if this gay friend was a Christian who had a strong relationship with God, who was actively involved in Christian ministry, had never been suicidal and had a strong relationship with his/her family? What if this person was a C. S. Lewis, Yancey reading, Cornerstone attending church boy who just happened to be gay?
What, indeed...

I'll be offline for the weekend...but I'm sure there will be lots to report on Sunday night!

5 comments:

Michael said...

In many ways I once fit the description of the "strong relationship with God, etc" person you describe. One thing that struck me is that I was only suicidal (in any kind of imaginatively active sense, never any actual direct attempts) when I realized I was gay in college and didn't know how life could hold anything for me. It was admitting to myself, to God and at least one other person that I am gay that lifted that burden.

Drew said...

Damien,

If i said that i understood where you are coming from would be a lie. in many ways, i WAS the type of person who was "scared" of those who were gay. a lot of that came from the way i was raised as a child and through young adulthood. it was further made worse when i became a christian - in a very conservative denomination that made all those "classic" sayings.

it is now, to quote Brian McClaren, "the further i walk with Jesus" - the more i become understanding and hopefully more loving. i also pray that i become less judgemental as well. and i am growing...that is what is good.

but what i do "understand" is the whole suicide thing. i think "some" people do deal with this great curse- for many different reasons. I feel that i am an outcast because of my depression.....it almost appears that i am set aside because of it......

i pray i can experience something to lift my burdens.......

Rick said...

I will be preaching on Sunday June 26 in SF at the "gay pride" service. I am a straight white dude. I am humbled and honored. The text in MT 10:38-42
"Not piece but a sword and pick up your cross."

Jesus did not come to maintain the status quo and hold on to the political and religious laws that stripped folks of the dignity.

Folks wanted a messiah that fit their description, but God sent Jesus, who proclaimed LOVE as the way. Jesus may have died for sin, but he LIVED for JUSTICE and MERCY and human freedom and dignity-- for love! And he tells us that if we want to "follow him" we need to pick up our crosses and come after him. May we dare to live for love and be willing to die for life.

Bar Bar A said...

Have fun at the wedding :) That's my profound thought for the day.

Poor Mad Peter said...

My wife, who is a hospice chaplain, would have little use for either DeLay or Dobson's positions on end-of-life matters. As she puts it, "I have seen too much."

She is firmly convinced of the need for living wills (advanced directives?) so that cases like Schiavo's won't become what they did become.

It's not something to be put off in any case, but after 40, not at all.