Friday, March 19, 2010

How Great Thou Art: In Opposition of Bill C-384

With 3 weeks left before Easter, my church has taken to honoring the season of Lent. Traditionally seen as 40 days of preparation for the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, the Church (by and large) spends each subsequent week focusing on the death and resurrection of God’s only begotten. Consequently, I have spent the last few days focusing on the hope we find in the midst of life’s greatest Challenge: Death.

I find it an oddity that while the church is focused on celebrating joy found in the death and resurrection, of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, an attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide is being brought forth in Canada’s parliament. Bill C-384 – otherwise known as the “Right to Die with Dignity Bill,” legally qualifies a person for doctor assisted suicide, under the following conditions: the patient must be at least 18 years old, they must continue to experience physical or mental pain while under treatment, but can choose to opt out of the treatment. The person can be terminally ill. They can also appear to be lucid. They can make 2 written requests to die inside a 10 day period, and finally they can appoint someone to act on their behalf if they are no longer lucid. This appointment must be submitted in writing.

At 19 years of age I was faced with the reality of death. After taking 48 Tylenol I was rushed to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. It was there that my life was intervened not just by human hands, but God’s hand was clearly on me in that hospital room. A Gideon came to visit me the first morning I was admitted. A complete stranger to me, we talked in the waking hours of that day. Recalling the events that led to my being in hospital, she first sat as a sounding board to the reasons I attempted suicide. Later on, she told me she was a Christian and offered me a New Testament. I reluctantly accepted her gift; afterward we parted ways never crossing paths again.

Sitting in a hospital room bored out of my mind, I decide to ask God a question,

“God, why am I in this hospital bed instead of dying somewhere?”

I opened my New Testament to a random page, pointed the first thing I saw and read,

“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim 4:16-18 NIV).

A few months later I asked Jesus to be a part of my life, always remembering the day I found hope in the midst of my greatest challenge.

After my 18th birthday I could carry an intelligent conversation. I had also experienced a mental pain to which I saw no end. More then once, I hinted at suicide, but as the scripture says, no one paid attention to my cries. Then, in my darkest hour, God stepped in and saved me from imminent death. Offering me hope unimaginable; accompanied by peace and rest from my mental anguish.

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, "My God, how great Thou art!"

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