Thursday, March 31, 2005

Is nothing sacred anymore?

In reading last night's entry, it is clear I was in the midst of a full blown pity party. Not that we aren't all prone to them. It is just funny to look at them in retrospect, and wonder what on earth we were thinking at the time that made life seem so incredibly bleak.

I feel I need to briefly mention Terri Schiavo, whose life came to an end this morning around 9 a.m. . As I've watched to procession of events, first from hearing about a woman in Florida who had been on life support for 14 years and her husband wanted to "pull the plug", to learning her name and details about her life, to seeing pictures of her, hearing her family's struggle as they fought to save the life of someone they loved, to hearing, with absolute incredulity, that court after court had decided that Terri Schiavo was not worthy of life, and was sentenced to die a cruel death, according to the wishes of her estranged and adulterous husband. It is a tragedy that goes beyond the death of one person. It is a tragic snapshot of our culture, where life has become a question of convenience and ease, and those who are unwanted, be it an unborn child or a sickly adult, can be disposed of with ease. Terri Schiavo has become a sacrificial lamb, only I am not entirely sure just what cause it is she has died for.

An interesting question was posed by a friend of mine as we talked about it tonight. She asked,
" Whose will has kept her alive all these years? God's will or man's?" It is a question to consider. Before all the advances in medicine made it possible to keep people alive through various forms of life support, people were not so easily snatched out of death's hand as they are today. Terri Schiavo was on a feeding tube, which is not life support, and certainly not an extensive means of life preservation. However, I do life support at times a question of God's will versus man's?

Tonight at Oasis, we sang the song "I Can Only Imagine". I could not help crying through this song as I realized that, despite the tragedy of Terri's death, she is now before Jesus, in His presence, in splendor that we can only imagine. Her suffering has ended. Many, many prayers went up for Terri, pleading with God for a miraculous rescue. For whatever His reasons, God said "no". My heart aches for her family and friends tonight, who loved her a great deal despite her extensive brain damage, despite the fact that she was not the Terri they knew 15 years ago. Still, in the midst of that tragedy is the realization that this is not the end for Terri, and she and her loved ones will be reunited in heaven, where she will no longer be imprisoned by a failing body or a damaged brain. She will be restored, will be as God intended her to be in His perfect plan for her. In this, I can rejoice.

However, I have to say that I have lost faith in the judicial system and in the moral fiber of America. More importantly, I am very concerned about the spiritual atmosphere in this country. At the risk of sounding "super spiritual", I do think there is something very evil at work when an innocent woman is sentenced to a cruel and needless death, and so many people are willing to turn a blind eye to it. It sickened me to see how hard the judges hearing this case worked to assure that Terri would not only die, but would die a horrific and painful death. This is not the America the I love. This is not the America that seeks to protect even its most vulnerable citizens. This is an America in transformation to something I do not recognize, cannot comprehend, with a future that is nothing short of frightening if it continues on this path of apathy.

In light of all this, it certainly makes my own personal struggles seem very small. So, with that, I'll close for tonight. I will likely resume my own personal ramblings tomorrow.


Anyway, I am with you! The whole Terry S. thing has left me with a sickening desire for making my own sort of statement.

How about this? I will find a dog that is old and blind, with some other disabilities, from the pound or where ever you find such a dog. . .Leave him chained up in my front yard slowing dying with sign next to him stating, "I am properly medicated." with an IV drip attached to the slowly emaciating doggy. Every day folks can come by and watch as he whines and begs for mercy, receiving no food or water till the day of his last "painless" breath. I wonder if I would make the front page. I can read it from my jail cell.
Isn't that something? You most certainly would go to jail for doing to an animal what was done to Terri Schiavo, and yet so many people were willing to accept her starvation and dehydration as a "peaceful" death, and fitting for someone in her medical condition.

We are living in a sick, sad world.
Lets look at all those patients that Jack Kavorkian help, so they did not live in the agony with the slow and painful death rather they walked and talked or not. He himself sitting in a jail cell for helping those take thier lives so they did not have to die the same sorta way Terry S. did.
It amazes me everyday to know how rules can differ from person to person, based on circumstances.
This country is so messed up in it's own little ways and something that could have been prevented wasn't. And now who pays for it? Her family!
You make a very good point, blabbs. While I do not think Dr. Kevorkian was right in what he did, at least he made the deaths humane and painless. What Terri went through was nothing short of cruel and needless torture.

I wonder if people might feel differently about what happened to her if a picture were taken of her the day she died, and people could see her cracked and bleeding skin, eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, etc...Humane and peaceful, huh?
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