“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Reject the lies and work the works

Susan Dolan-Henderson in her article "Mainstreaming Justice" (Sojourners, 2000) makes the following comments.

"Need and dependency are so hated by our society that euthanasia and assisted suicide have been put forth as better alternatives than interdependence. We need health care, pain control, and support for families to empty euthanasia and assisted suicide of their terrible attraction." How evil that people will come to us, to our American society and say they are in pain or depressed to the point of wanting to take their own life, and we reply, "I'll help you take your life." In effect we say, "You are right. You are not worth any effort from me or others." Not all of these people are on their death bed. As a respected friend of mine, Dr. Rick Langer once said to me, "These are not people who are sustained on life supports, they are those who if they are not killed today, might go to McDonalds."

Then later in the same article she writes,

"We are all only temporarily-abled. Illness and disability can strike at any time. The disabled and chronically ill remind us of how much in life is beyond our control. It is theologically and ethically appropriate to see God as having a preferential option for the disabled and ill, and thus for the church integrally to mirror this preference and work for justice concerning their well being. Throughout the New Testament, the church is called to be a community of interdependence. Care of the chronically ill and disabled is not a none-way street."

Perhaps as an American, or perhaps just as a person, I resist the above statements more than I care to admit. I think I would do just about anything to be able to die quickly. Not because I necessarily fear death, but because I don't want to be a burden to my family. I don't want to be dependent on others in any way because dependency is weakness, and as a MAN I don't want to be weak. I am happy to help others who are disabled or weak, but I don't want to be in need of their help because I am disabled or weak. The Bible tells me God's strength is shown in my weakness, but I think that deep down I think God's strength is shown in my strength. I think I might actually hate some forms of weakness. God tells me that the first will be last, but I think that the first will be first. I see the way Jesus responded to his critics while I in my bravado study to devastate my detractors with a witty counter attack.

"For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19).

I have bought the lies. . .

My wife's grandmother, a woman who is a true servant of God, raising Godly boys, and impacting our family for what I suspect will be many generations (the Lord willing) is dying as I write this. Her malady has been progressive in nature. Family members have used this opportunity to visit with her, help her, love her. I don't know how aware she is, but I hope she has awareness of these people who love her as they gather around. In better days, she was a person who always did for others. Her sugar creme pie was the stuff of legend. Through her life ending disability, God has provided the opportunity for her loved ones to gather around her and support her, the opportunity to manifest the works of God in her (see April 26 entry). We have the opportunity to work "the works of him that sent me, while it is still day."

While it is still day.

This part of the verse hit me. I have the opportunity to work the works while it is still day for me, and I have the opportunity to work the works for disabled individuals like my wife's grandmother while it is still day for her, and I have the opportunity to work the works while it is still day for the world.

So reject the lies and work the works while it is still day.


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