One of my favorite days in the Church calendar year is tomorrow, and it coincides with a hot ethical issue being posed in our society right now. Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old woman dying from glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer, has made a public declaration that on Nov. 1st she plans to take her life into her own hands and to “Pass peacefully.” Perhaps her plans have changed, but Brittany, Her mother and her husband have all expressed what this means for them. Her husband stated; “Death with dignity allows for people who are in the predicament of facing a lot of suffering to decide when enough is enough.” While Brittany herself said; “I cant tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that I don’t have to die in the way it has been described to me.”
There are many who are gently speaking towards what Brittany plans and hopes to do, which has inspired me to give my own two cents worth. There are the brave who suffer the same nasty form of cancer alongside of Brittany and have spoken their words of wisdom. While I know not what it means to dance with the ugly face of terminal illness as it latches on and takes every ounce of life left in the body, I know what it means to be 29 years old like Brittany, and I do know that I am going to die. In fact, I can say with all certainty that I am going to die in the most unglamorous of ways and painful of ways. I know that, because it doesn’t matter what face death takes, it is all ugly and painful. But what is beautiful, is one who looks death in the face and says; “this holds no power over me.” What is beautiful is one who knows that as humans, there is nothing beautiful about the humanity of our flesh, but what is beautiful is that we can live in this flesh and still obtain righteousness by means of Christ. What makes a marriage beautiful is 50 years of struggle, not one year happiness. What makes a life beautiful, is one that is fought for. What makes that disgusting fluid covered baby kissable is the labor of love involved in bringing it into the world. Love sees past pains of the flesh, and the nasty realities that come with it. This is what makes life beautiful, that One would give up what is most beautiful, and enter into the grotesque sin filled flesh of a human to live, to love, and to die so that we might have life. Does all this give me a platform to speak on; maybe not, but my platform is built upon One who has the final word on death. For that I shall yell all the more loudly;
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.