Thursday, March 31, 2005

“Life” in the Good Ole USA

The much anticipated death of Terri Schiavo came a little before 9:00 this morning. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and all those involved at any level and on either side of the issue leading up to her death.

No issue has gripped the nation’s interest and drawn such strong lines morally, spiritually and politically as the issue of Terri’s life … and death. There has been no other news or other discussion on any talk radio show for over two weeks.

Not even last year’s politically derisive election cycle approached the interest that our entire nation has shown over this gut wrenching issue. As much as the pundits have tried, they can’ t definitively classify who is lining up on each side. When George Bush and Jesse Jackson come together it defies political logic. Christians across the country go both ways on the issue (about 50-50 in a recent poll). Has our nation’s moral code failed us or is it just the legal system?

When I heard the news on the radio this morning within a couple of minutes of Terri’s death something truly unexpected happened within me. Her death has been eminent for several days and I thought I was prepared to hear the announcement.

When the word came, my emotions welled up inside and came out in tears and a loud vocal cry, much more than other very hurtful events in my life. Why? Why was I overcome with tears? Why am I still ready to cry as I write? Why? Why? Why?

Is God’s heart broken? Did I feel it in my Spirit? I don’t even know the girl, so why am I so upset? Is it because I’m a father and love my kids more than I ever knew was possible? Is it because I know how much my birth mom Rita loves me and how much she still suffers for missing 44 years of my life? I don’t know.

I find strength in the fact that Terri has been removed from the body that failed her and that she is now dancing with angels in front of our Savior Jesus Christ. For all the questions we have, she now has the answers. Praise the Lord!

I accept the fact that we live in a fallen world where it is evident that Satan rules and I’m sure he’s having a big party over all the hate, ill will and derisiveness that Teri’s slow painful death has caused. What I’m having a hard time coming to grips with is the slow painful death of our country that was founded based on the principle of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

The measure of our country’s moral fiber can be judged on how we treat the least able to care for themselves. From the unborn child (that we’ve killed 45 million of since 1973), to the crippled and handicapped, to the elderly whose lives have been extended by medical devices, what does Teri’s death say to them? I’m afraid we are yelling in a loud voice WATCH OUT!!! Do not inconvenience us or you will be next!!!

Our country’s focus on self, greed and hedonism has played out right in front of our eyes in Terri and Michael Schiavo and vividly shows us where we are as a society. Mother Theresa said, “"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

Can we all live as we wish now that the courts allow abortion and are headed toward open euthanasia like they have an a few European countries? Is everyone happy?

I don’t claim to judge Michael Schiavo, Terri’s family, the Judge or anyone else. Jesus has that covered. I have no idea what Terri would have wanted. I do know that yesterday Terri was alive and we as a society did nothing to help her, not even a cup of water. I do know that God loves her as much as he does Michael Schiavo and each of you reading this right now.

Do not lose site of the fact that God is always in control. As humans our ways are not His ways. Right now it is hard to understand how God allowed this whole saga to play out. I do have the faith to believe that His plan is perfect and while we can’t see the big picture, He can. In some way that we can’t even imagine He will use this national tragedy to bring others to Him and He will be glorified in the end. We aren’t called to understand, only to believe and have faith. He will give us the answers we need when we need them and not before.

Whether you accept it or not, God has a plan for each of our lives and His heart is aching to have a relationship with you right this minute. He doesn’t care who you are or where you have been He loves you just the same. He wants you to call His name and say Jesus I am a wretched sinner and I can’t do it by myself anymore. I need You in my life and I want to leave my sin behind. I know that I can’t be perfect but I can come to you with my sin because You gave Your only Son so that I could come to You for help. Father God, fill me with your Spirit and help me learn to be the person that you created me to be. Teach me to love You and everyone around me. It’s all about You and not about me. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

For a little backup to my rant, I give you a few words from Matthew 25 from the mouth of God Himself.

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


Gerald Phillips said...


You expressed my feelings very well. When Hilter starting killing the weak and indefensible, and none called his hand on this, and then he decided he could kill six millon Jews which he accomplished in the name of God.

Chris Russell said...

Finally had a chance to take a few and read this article. Excellent! I wish we would all wake up and smell the death around us. My heart breaks for the defenseless and I long for the day that justice is had. Thanks for expressing it so well.