How’s yours doing?
I just came in on this flurrying evening to my warm home. I was thinking as I drove home from work, from supporting people with special needs, intellectual disabilities, how precarious life is right now, for them especially and other vulnerable members of our population.
Some doctors in Quebec, Canada are advocating for permission to euthanize infants up to one year of age if they are enduring “extreme suffering that cannot be soothed.”
I have never been the parent of an infant who endured that kind of suffering, however I am the parent of a one time toddler who grew into a young adult who endured extreme suffering that could not be soothed. Had this option been available back then I must wonder if it would have been suggested or prescribed to my loved son.
I understand a bit. The aching, unending weep as you cannot do the one thing you want to do as a parent, protect your child from suffering, especially at such a tender age.
I’m concerned about the words chosen. “Extreme suffering that cannot be soothed.” At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I’ve had friends with collicky babies. Babies that could not be soothed, for hours, every day. Crying, screaming infants, sometimes writhing in pain, the parents also writhing in their own exhaustion, at their whit’s end, trying to figure out the right formula to help this very unhappy wee one get through another stretch of agonizing hours.
I know it’s a stretch, but everything is these days. MAID was ‘intended’ for those with terminal illness, facing imminent death and experiencing significant, unbearable suffering. All the opponents said, “Be Careful! This is a SLIPPERY SLOPE.” Well here we are careening down that hill. If you’re mentally ill you just have to wait a few more months before you can access a death doctor to finish you off. It’s right there on the Government of Canada website. It’s the new healthcare. Another option for treatment. Saves a lot of money I’m sure.
So I spend time at a group home and at head office today. I haven’t been there in a while and as I’m leaving a crowd of people come in the door. Some staff, some supported people, a parent and at the front desk, a wonderful lady we support fielding questions with dignity and ability. I’m so happy in this fray of people living out the messiness of life together.
How did we get to the place where we feel we have the authority to decide who gets to live or die.
Oh right, we kicked out the source of all hope and climbed on the throne ourselves.
Someone has to be god. It’s just the way everything’s wired. So if you choose not to listen to the one who claims to be that, then you have to put yourself in the uncomfortable position of taking on that role. Is anyone getting tired of how that’s going yet? It’s a pretty awful mess.
So I started out asking how you’re doing. How’s your hope?
(Reply in the comments?)
Sometimes I’m drowning. Everything is overwhelming.
Or is it?
Everything in the news is overwhelming.
Everything on my phone is overwhelming.
I step outside. Our backyard is crusted with white. First snow crispness covering all the decaying detritus of fall. So pretty. It’s not so cold. I breathe deep. Juncos swarm the feeder. I call them Smudgeons. They look like white birds dipped in gray. Smudged.
The woodstove banks out heat, yellow flames lurk around layers of crate wood stacked inside. Wood we were blessed with. I’m grateful.
What if I just.keep.living? Just keep doing the stuff of everyday. And through it all reach deep into community, participate, help, be a blessing, receive blessings, count them.
And wherever I’m asked to be a voice. Do it. With love.
Wasn’t it Mother Teresa who said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
Whether you or I are called to great things or small ones, let us do them with great love.
And how I ask is that possible in this world fraught with confusion, division and violence.
I have only one answer.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 ESV
And perhaps in that, there will be a way to offer a flame of hope to someone who’s lost the will to even live. Isn’t that what we need, what people need when they’re lost in a cavern of suffering? Be it physical, mental even spiritual. Just a spark, someone fanning a smouldering wick to light the way back to hope.
Where are you finding yours these days?