I was thinking this morning about Euthanasia. I know a lovely morning musing .... this at 5:30 am too when our dogs demanded to be let out! We have a 17yo rat terrier who it's easier to carry up and down the stairs then try not to fall over her at that wee hour.... then she has to slowly traipse out the deck down the stairs and contemplate whether she wants to do her business or not. Sheesh, so yes there have been moments I've thought maybe we should just put her to sleep .... BUT the vet assures us she is in perfect her health for her age and really doesn't have any issues other than being slow, yippy, mild cataracts and just generally being underfoot at times.
Recently a sweet friend posted a link on Facebook about physician assisted suicide and how she understood the need for relief from chronic pain. Admittedly my issues are not as severe as hers but I can understand how one could get to that place. How you just want the pain to stop, how there's no words to tell people how truly tired, bone weary you are ... and how others would not want to have to watch a loved one suffer. The pain of watching someone you love not want to be here anymore, struggle with why God has "left" them here, or deal with excruciating physical pain that you can't touch or stop.... I get it truly I do ...
and yet ....
As I watched our poor old pooch navigate the steps this morning it struck me that I was being selfish, it's not that I want to put her to sleep because she's in pain or suffering or anything I'm just tired of getting up with her and waiting on her .... but she's a dear part of our family as well and has traveled many roads and adventures with us! Is it right for me to want to put her to sleep just for my convenience?
Yes I know, before anyone has a stroke -- it's a big leap from a tired rat terrier to a human being. Again, I get it. But I also know if we who name the name of Christ profess a love for all life and say we beleive God is the same God yesterday today and tomorrow, if we say we belive His word and not just bits and pieces then we must also believe this along with King David:
Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16
and that means ALL the days from Birth to Death. Trusting His timing is perfect even as you are sick of being preggers or hubby will be deployed when baby comes or the Dr wants to induce because you are "late" -- to the day of death whether it's sudden, lingering, suffering or peaceful. Hard stuff but do we believe God has numbered our days and has them held in the palm of his hand or do we just say we do?
Is our perspective what's skewed instead? A perspective that says it's to hard, to much, to everything instead of a perspective that views even the hard days as a gift somehow knowing that it is meant to be to much so we will lean on, and hopefully bring, Glory to Him?
Oh please don't hear me judging anyone I'm not, I understand the desire to just not have to deal with feeling icky all the time when you look fine, frustration of searching for the right word, of your body not working the way it used to or is "supposed" to, aching when it shouldn't .... I have several friends dealing with chronic issues (so no this is NOT directed towards any one person), friends who've watched sweet children slip away "before their time" the world would say and deal with the questions of that, cried with sweet friends who have dealt with the pain of suicide and mental illness and prayed agonizing prayers for my own family, and I know that not all those who face death slip gracefully into that good night. I do not believe that it is God's will for anyone's life to be cut short or not fulfill the days appointed to them (Genesis says God appointed 120 years for us but we don't see that to often) but it happens because we live in a fallen world and only God can take that and still use it for good.
But it seems the question is one of how do we view life?
Do we as Christian's allow a little of the culture -that say it's so much better for our loved ones not to live in pain, that surely God is ok with it if we assist them in their homegoing to - slip in?
Do we say with Job "though He slay me yet will I trust Him" ?
Tough questions my friends indeed.
I do not have all the answers that's for sure .... but I think even this morning in the cool before sunrise as I watched our old dog use weak legs to navigate instead of run like she used to that it is still a beautiful life even in pain and age and I hope that I can remember that in days to come.
Teach us to number our days carefullyso that we may develop wisdom in our hearts ...