Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday and Terry Shiavo

Kevin Miller says it well.

It's too easy to draw a conclusion on Terry Shiavo from the evidence in front of our eyes. The Reasonable people have done that already. Seeing the sheer apparent randomness of life, the preponderance of human and natural evil and the hurt that those with hearts must feel, They have concluded there can be no God. Therefore, everything is up to them. Meaning, guidance, effort, the whole of their life's and society's well being rests in their hands. That can be quite a burden. It makes for confusing interpretations. "What's right for you may not be right for me" could well be a psychological survival mechanism from forming a complex world-view without the benefit of any world religion. Of course, there must be some absolutes. The evil of suffering tends to be a consistent one.

On the surface, who can blame the Reasonable? Which of us wants to suffer? When was the last time we offered to take the heat from the boss for a co-worker that screwed up? How often have we volunteered to trade places with those Critically injured survivors of a three-car pile up? For myself, I can barely work up the compassion to clean the dishes after a hard day's work. None of us who are in our right mind like suffering. Whenever possible, we like to avoid it. But what can we do when it's inevitable?

Here is where the Fools must part company with the Reasonable. For the Reasonable see no reason to stop looking for a way out of suffering. Since suffering is the indisputable evil, avoiding or ending it becomes the preminent good. Anything that does the trick goes. Whereas we Fools insist on this crazy notion that God is real, that his love for us endows each of us with a precious dignity that none can deny or remove with impunity. On account of such foolishness, we recognize that God's will is the one meant to be done. That means there are limits we cannot breach, even to end suffering. There are even those times in which our suffering mysteriously serves to bring about the fulfillment of God's will. I say mysteriously because we often don't ever understand why such suffering is necessary. However, we trust our God. We are confident in His love for us. After all, he's already born a universe of suffering on our behalf.

It's fitting on this Good Friday to recall everything Christ has done for us. Every wrong we have ever done as a people and ourselves, and every wrong we will do, He has accepted person responsibility for. He has paid the price we owed when we chose to turn away from Life. He bore the consequence when we turned from Love of Him to lust for power. He did this through the excruciating torture that was Roman Crucifiction.

When we're confronted with suffering that we cannot avoid, we can join our suffering to his, and thus mysteriously participate in his redemptive death. Thus, we will rise with him in his glorious Ressurection. Such is the unreasonable "superstition" that we Fools believe. Fortunately, it all happens to be true.

It's easy for the Reasonable to miss this. Especially in a case like Terry Schiavo. They see a helpless woman. We see an injured sister. They see a crippled mind. We see a struggling heart. They see a person whom they're sure would not want to carry on in such a state. We see a woman that shines in her God-given dignity and life, and should continue up to and beyond the point in which her God calls her Home. They see a person who's suffering must be brought to an end. We see a person in whose suffering we must share, if we are to be Christ to her as we're called.

This in the end is the choice we face when we confront inevitable suffering. The Reasonable can justify taking her life any way that eases the suffering of their consciences--those that have enough conscience left. It doesn't change the fact that Terry Schiavo's life is being taken from her unjustly. In their effort to "end her suffering", Michael Schiavo, Judge Greer, and all of their Reasonable enablers deny her justice. More significantly, they refuse to share in her suffering, and thus miss an opportunity to meet the Savior. May God, and the rest of us, forgive them.