Friday, February 25, 2005

February 25, 2005

As an employee of a domestic U.S. air carrier, I am blessed to be able
to travel to various destinations in which I have been able to try to make a
difference for saving lives.

When Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed in October of 2003,
I felt compelled to travel to Florida to help raise awareness of her plight.

As Terri faced a similar juncture in her life this week, I was once again drawn
to seeing if there wasn’t something I could do to make a difference.

Midway through the flight, it was reported that “judge” Greer had granted
another 48 hour reprieve. I began soul searching about whether I had
mis-perceived the Lord’s leading in my trip to Florida. Would there
really be anything for me to do?

At 6:30 am yesterday, I kept a lonely watch in front of the hospice where
Terri has been held hostage for years. I listened to the birds singing
and wished I could just walk in the front door and say, “Hi, I’d like to take
Terri for a walk in her wheelchair today.” Unfortunately, not even her parents are allowed that privilege. No fresh air, no sunshine, no fragrant flowers to smell, no
bird’s songs to hear.

Most of the cars which drove by, dropping their children off at the nearby school,
read my poster saying “Colorado (heart) Terri.” Mostly they just glanced and
kept driving, their conscience possibly pricked. A few gave the thumbs up
sign. One Jeep Cherokee, sporting a Kerry sticker, screamed, “Let her die!”

It seemed a bit strange to ponder why Terri’s neighbors are so apathetic while
people around the nation are so passionate about her cause. There are
many wonderful Florida people who have done yeoman work to see that Terri isn’t
the victim of judicial murder. Yet, local talk-show host, Mark Larson, vehemently
berated DCF on air for wasting his tax dollars in asking for a 60 day
delay to investigate charges of abuse. Why is he so eager for Terri to die?
What happens if “judge” Greer refuses to allow the 60 day reprieve, remains
to be seen in this showdown between the Executive and Judicial branches.

Around noon, Randall Terry held a press conference at the Pinellas County Courthouse.
He told reporters that there would be a picket of Michael Schiavo’s lovely home today.
“judge” Greer’s Baptist church, down the street from the court house, will be targeted
with protestors asking that he be denied communion, since he is violating Southern Baptist Convention teachings. The Mad Italian, Michael’s live-in’s family restaurant is to be the focus of another group of Terri supporters who will call for a boycott of the eatery.

Mr. Terry closed the press conference noting he had told George Felos, that he wasn’t sure if he was merely a pain in the ass or criminally insane. He said he didn’t know if he should offer him Preparation H or Prozac. Doubtful that
quote made the 6:00 news!

By late afternoon, more supporters gathered in front of the hospice once again for
prayers, songs and a candle light-vigil. By the time it was over, we had 4 signs for
Terri – mine, a “Minnesota (heart) Terri”, an “Iowa (heart) Terri” and a “Maryland (heart) Terri”.

Mary from Iowa drove 28 hours straight by herself to get there.

Our efforts were captured as photos in the Tama Tribune and the St. Petersburg

And yet today some Floridians are claiming that where Terri’s brain should be, there is a big black hole there.

Is that anyway to describe a fellow citizen?

It really does go back to the red state, blue state phenomenon. Were John Kerry in office today, the judicial scales, dangerously close to tipping all the way toward the death agenda, would be falling with an audible thud.

Don’t expect this ghastly agenda to disappear any time soon. If Million Dollar Baby
sweeps the Oscars this week, as expected, there will likely be many more Terri’s!

So if you feel an irrepressible urge to go make a difference, your efforts will undoubtedly

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Loving our enemies?

One of the most difficult aspects of this walk we have as followers of Jesus,
is the imprecation to love our enemies.

Who wants to do that?

A particularly vivid example in many of our lives at this juncture in history,
is the wicked troika who seem to hold the fate of our friend Terri Schindler Schiavo
in their hands.

One writer asks the question about Terri’s former spouse, “husband or monster?”

Monster, I say!! It gives me some measure of comfort to describe him that way,
I’m sorry to admit. And frankly, I don’t want to change my opinion of him or
the other creeps who have abused Terri for over a decade.

But what does the good book say about those we conclude are our enemies?

Before we explore that, let me admit I don’t want to love my enemies. I don’t even want to pray for them. But like many of you I must conclude that all of the amazing efforts
to spare Terri’s life by the thousands of us who care about protecting innocent life,
at this point seem to be falling short of getting the job done.

Do we need to examine who the real enemy is and acknowledge that Michael and
his minions are as lost as we once were – but for the grace of God?

I don’t know what else to do at this point to make a difference that actually might
save Terri, so that she can bask in the sunshine and breathe deep the fragrance of
flowers, while her eyes take in the deep azure blue of the ocean’s deep.

I must admit that I’m willing at this late date to try another tact and pray that
the Good Lord will save Michael, George Felos and “judge” Greer and bring
them into His kingdom before they face the justice they will so richly deserve, should
they carry out their diabolical plan.

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20-21

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-44.

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27.

Amazingly, there are numerous others. Yet, I’m having trouble enough understanding
these. They go so against my grain!

All my prayers for the past 18 months for Terri, and now I must confront the fact
that perhaps, I should have been praying for the salvation of the aforementioned
hit squad.

Before we mentally send them packing to the vivid depictions of a Hieronymous Bosch
painting, will we pledge to stand together as a body of believers and pray fervently
that the Lord will remove the scales from their eyes, that they will repent and
let Terri live?

But most of all may we all continue to pray that Saint Terri will have taught America
not only the valuable lessons our nation needs to learn regarding the infinite value of all human life but also the depth of corruption of our judicial system which needs to be
swept clean, from top to bottom.

And finally, may we collectively pray that the good men in our land, who have
the power to do what is necessary to save an innocent life will dig deeply into
their reservoir of courage and boldly step out to do the noble, right and just thing.

“Father God, we are absolutely helpless before you, we beseech your majesty
and beg your forgiveness for not consistently praying that Terri’s tormentors be saved.
Please work a mighty work in their hearts and minds that they will repent of
their wicked ways. We pray that they will seek your merciful forgiveness
for their abuse of our sister Terri, lo these many years. In the matchless name
of Jesus, we pray, Amen”