Choose life and not death! --II Kings 18:32
His name was Nathan, he was severely brain-injured, and I couldn't help but notice the way his elderly parents doted over him. While Dad pushed him around the Joni and Friends' Family Retreat, Mom constantly had her hand on Nathan's arm. They were at his side, wiping his mouth, smoothing his hair, and taking him to every Bible study and snack-shop fellowship. Nathan couldn't speak, but that didn't stop his folks from introducing him to every attendee of the retreat.
As I watched this incredible threesome, I thought, Many people would think Nathan would be better off dead than so severely disabled. They'd pity him... his elderly parents, too. That's why the physician-assisted suicide laws which are cropping up in various states are so dangerous. It's bad enough that doctors can help people with terminal illnesses commit suicide. But now, the lines between a terminal illness and a disability like Nathan's are beginning to blur. That's bad news for people like him.
No one should feel they have to die to have dignity... or die to be relieved of pain or depression... or to stop being a burden to their family or society. This is why it's so important for Christians to work to promote the Gospel; it's a way of promoting a culture of life. Nathan's parents left our Family Retreat refreshed, believing God had a plan and purpose for their son's disability. This is what gives a person dignity!
Consider volunteering at a Joni and Friends' Family Retreat next year. You'll spread the love of Christ among people like Nathan, as well as lob a hand grenade into society's pity-the-poor-unfortunate mentality. You'll be obliterating fundamental fears about disability. You'll be reinforcing the God-honoring truth that people are not better off dead than disabled. Thank you for promoting a culture of life today. If he were able, Nathan would say the same.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being the Prince of Life, the Resurrection and the Life, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Joni and Friendswww.joniandfriends.org