Sunday, March 27, 2005

resurrection day

It is cold and December-like. I expect snow at any moment. This morning I pulled out warm clothes to wear to church, none of those short sleeved, Easter basket colors today. In Holy Week terms, I still feel like Maunday Thursday and Good Friday.

But it is more than the weather.

The first place I went this morning was to the computer to log on and check the state of Terri Shiavo. I grieve for her as she faces another long day of no food or water. I grieve for her mom who has so courageously fought for the life of her child and for her father, the sight of his face bringing me to tears. I pray for them and for those who have so valiantly stood for the sanctity of human life in this long battle.

We went to church and shared a fabulous break-the-fast meal with our church family. We sang hymns about the joy of the risen Christ, the power of death being cancelled by His blood. There were so many, many children singing, all dressed up in Easter finery. It was a blessed morning.

Then we came home to rest and prepare our own Easter feast to share with Mollie, Aaron, and the boys. The sun came out to warm things up a bit and by mid afternoon Clay took the boys out to shoot off some of their model rockets. Evening came and we ate Mollie's cheesecake-of-the-month delight. All of the feasting and rejoicing in the newness of life in Christ Jesus, of being reminded of the advancement of the kingdom of Christ through the lives of our children and our children's children, all this made for an especially meaningful Easter Sunday.

But in the back of my mind all day was Terri. While we filled our tummies with egg casserole, sausage, cinnamon rolls and fruit slush, Terri had no food or water. While we rejoiced in the resurrected Christ, Terri was a partaker of His sufferings, still living in her moment of anticipation of death. Perhaps she is in a "vegetative state" as the doctors have called it, but I believe the human soul has no vegetative state. We cannot say how the Holy Spirit works, but I believe the reports of her peaceful state belie a peaceful state of her soul as she prepares to meet her maker.

I do not grieve as much for Terri or her eternal state as I do for the state of this nation. I came across these quotes this morning that say it all:

from Peggy Noonan:

"Our children have been reared in the age of abortion, and are coming of age in a time when seemingly respectable people are enthusiastic for euthanasia. It cannot be good for our children, and the world they will make, that they are given this new lesson that human life is not precious, not touched by the divine, not of infinite value.

Once you "know" that--that human life is not so special after all--then everything is possible, and none of it is good. When a society comes to believe that human life is not inherently worth living, it is a slippery slope to the gas chamber. You wind up on a low road that twists past Columbine and leads toward Auschwitz. Today that road runs through Pinellas Park, Fla."

some random thoughts from a blog:

"Explain this. The people who were, a few short months ago, screaming that stem cell research was going to cause the lame to walk, any minute ... are the same ones who are now screaming that Terri Shiavo must be starved to death because she's worthless now, there is absolutely no chance that she'll ever be any better.Guys. Pick one."

"What it ultimately means is if you have a profoundly brain-damaged or Down's Syndrome child, be afraid. Be very afraid. If you or a loved one has an acceptably high IQ but is a quadriplegic on a ventilator, suicide will be a legally protected option. Unless health-care costs become even more of a crisis. Then the state will mandate your killing for "the greater good."

If you or a loved one has an acceptably high IQ but is paraplegic, don't worry until society has killed off all the mentally handicapped, ventilator and feeding-tube dependent and more profoundly paralyzed. Only then will the system come for you."

from Rev. Martin Niemoller:

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."

And, finally, a poem that seems appropriate:

Crossing the Bar
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


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