Saturday, December 16, 2006


I always get bothered around this season of the year for many reasons. Mostly it has to do with the fact that Christmas has truly become a cultural holiday. Sure, we constantly have the screamers on TV and others that talk about the true meaning of Christmas, issues of religious freedom or lack thereof, i. e., St. Paul, MN who had the Happy Easter sign removed from City Hall. Get it: Saint Paul. Then there is the buying of presents. For most Americans, we are out buying, trying to buy, whatever, for those who don't need anything.

A good buddy of mine told me this story recently, his Mom and sister decided, let's cut this out, giving each other gifts: take the money that we would spend and give it to a charity selected by the person who ordinarily would get the gift. All is well and suddenly the Mother decides that she is getting everybody a gift, just can't let it go.

I love this story: this couple is looking in the window at Macy's and suddenly one of them spies a little manger scene in the corner of the window and says, "Well, look at that, even the Church is trying to horn in on this Christmas business."

So, there you have it. I feel a little better having vented a little. However, I think my biggest issue, however, has to do with the fact that again, on this Christmas, we are war. Relatively speaking, it has affected few people, most Americans are untouched: Iraq what? I want us all to stop and be touched, concerned, pained that on this cultural holiday representing PEACE, we have America's young men and women on foreign soil. It really is hard to think about peace, the Prince of Peace in such times. God bless our soldiers and God bless us.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006



Interesting "Frontline" story recently on the process of getting older (my interpretation). Over sixty percent of aging populations end up in nursing homes and almost 90% of those who go in, temporarily, stay. Watching it all was simply astounding, plus very sobering, which is the best word I can put on it. Also, talked about the "good" death.

It did get me to thinking, however; what I want to do is to make sure that somebody does me in when it is time. And, I am willing to let them decide. The difficulty is finding someone to do it. A buddy of mine in Alaska has said he would and I would for him but we haven't worked out the details. I think I'm going to look for a backup plan. Although this is said somewhat as tongue in cheek, the idea of lingering when I hardly know I'm in this world is totally unacceptable.

What is equally as interesting to me is that I wanted to discuss this with at least two groups of which I'm associated. In both, it was the "nobody is home look." Is it denial? What? I did finally get an email message from a friend that said this:

I'd never (I believe and hope) ask another to bear the responsibility before God of relieving me of my misery and pain. Timing is in His hand and I believe He has a plan!

Public opinion has no affect on God's plan, love, mercy, and grace. I believe that mercy-murder is more than that; it is also the audacious estimating of the quality of my will, wisdom and capability for mercy to be above God's.

Because God's standards are not subject to opinion polls, and since taking a life--as opposed to leaving the matter in the hands of the Master Timekeeper--even for mercy's sake has not been blessed by God, to my knowledge, I could never ask another to weigh his eternal standing against my very temporary misery/fear/etc.

Said another way, no one loves me more the God, and I certainly can't love another more than He loves him/her. So how can I assume that I have more mercy to give? How could I assume to be capable of coming up with a plan--out of my perspective, fears and dread--that is wiser, more loving and more merciful than the plan my Father and Christ has for me and/or some party that I ask to share the eternal responsibilities of my decisions and persuasions? No, I hope I could never be miserable enough to ask another to put so much on the line for me and that I could never do it while in a state of dementia or insanity.


Thanks for your comments. Certainly well thought out and in general pretty much what most think, probably not articulated by most as well as yours. There is something amazing about people wanting to live and of course, subscribing the ending of life in any way to God, providence or whatever. I personally think it is a kind of lineal thinking that may have lots to do with our own personalities. Those of us who even embrace that "this world is not my home" spend inordinate amounts of money not to leave it. I am always flummoxed (a word I love).

My view is really a philosophical difference. Somehow the most merciless thing is to warehouse folks in nursing homes, many who don't know they are in this world and if they do, have an extremely poor quality of life. We treat our animals better than our loved ones often. The philosophical differences lie in the world of decisions. And, I at least believe, that the one whose life it is makes the decision.