November 3, 2014

Right to Die vs. Beauty of Suffering

I’m all twisted up inside today upon hearing about Brittany Maynard’s decision to kill herself yesterday in the wake of her progressing terminal brain cancer diagnosis. (See backstory HERE) I have too many questions about her decision that she never answered; questions that I don’t think she ever asked herself. I grieve for her – for her life ending prematurely, for the fact that she felt the need to kill herself, for the fact that she died without knowing Jesus. I grieve for all the people who heard her story and believed the lie that it is braver to commit suicide in the wake of suffering than to live out one’s life surrounded by loved ones, surrounded by God’s comforting hand in the midst of pain, determined to make the most of every moment rather than simply give up and attempt to control something that none of us can control – our natural, God-given and beautiful passing from this world unto the next.

I wonder about the implications of "right to die" acts regarding the disabled, babies with birth defects, abortion, the elderly, guardianship situations.... I fear where our society is going when people decide that comfort at all costs is most important; when people decide that suffering has no place in life; when people start to think that we are each individually in control of our God-given lives.

To read some beautiful words about the value of living life despite terminal illnesses, the value of suffering, and the importance of God in light of death, try this article by John Piper and Desiring God.

Brittany Maynard, Death with Dignity, terminally ill, brain cancerAnd because I am not in Brittany Maynard’s shoes, try listening to this two part interview (Here and Here) with Kara Tippetts who is living in the end stages of terminal breast, brain and blood cancers. Kara had written a public letter to Brittany Maynard (HERE) which sums up all of my feelings beautifully.

And one more thought from C.S. Lewis... "Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself." (Problem of Pain)

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