One of our patients who died last week had a beautiful passing. During her last hours, her daughter played a video of the patient’s husband who had died a few years earlier. The man was saying over and over how he loved his precious wife. On hearing his voice, our patient roused from her coma, smiled, and a few minutes later she died.
Isn’t that marvelous? Isn’t it clear that God prompted the daughter to play the video. When you hear that story are you moved by the love between human beings, and are you overcome with the notion that the Father has concern for us even as we are leaving the land of the dying and entering the next life?
The populations in Egypt and Tunisia have toppled their governments. Masses in Bahrain, Libya and Lebanon are demanding the right to choose who will govern them. It is an unprecedented international uprising.
Although I haven’t seen television coverage, I have been following the events as reported in the Wall Street Journal, including the on-line version which shows video/audio footage. The people interviewed are saying that they want the political freedoms they see in the United States. They also are fed up with not being able to find jobs.
Social media created the forum in which the demonstrators could organize. Who would have predicted that Facebook would play a key role in the overthrow of governments? The peoples’ desire for representation is fueling the uprisings, but the internet is providing the means to do it.
Let’s back up a minute. Our country’s founders also revolted against non-representation. Then they designed a government that respected humans as created in God’s image. People were more important than the state. They also understood that we have evil within us and that government power should, therefore, be limited and checked. It was a biblically informed politic.
Scripture speaks against tyranny and makes a case for the primacy of the individual. Consider that Moses rescued the enslaved Israelites in Egypt, Israel existed most often as a conquered nation, and Jesus created a following not so He could rise to political power, as his disciples expected. Instead, Jesus gave up earthly power so He could set us free from the sin that incarcerates us. And nowhere else that I know of does the notion exist that we are made in the likeness of the Creator, imbued with an inherent dignity that exceeds the prominence of government.
What follows is that these Northern Africans and Middle Eastern people who are revolting desire to be treated as scripture says they deserve.
Will the people in these countries now draw-up a government that respects human-rights? Or will they succumb to more power games? We should pray for them. And we ought to be grateful for the political inheritance passed to us from the founders. We have a most unique government.
So how does all of this political analysis relate to hospice? Simply put, human beings are precious, and deserving of high regard, whether we are deciding how we will organize ourselves, or seeking comfort during our last moments in this life.
Our lives are precious only because the One who made us deems it so. Just like our patient who passed last week, and the people revolting in the modern world, we are highly-esteemed and loved.
In the Chronicles of Narnia there is a wonderful scene that takes place between the worlds. In it, the British children are reunited with Prince Caspian who has recently died after a long life as ruler of Narnia. They ask him how he feels after passing through death. Caspian wonders at their concern, and says, “Why are you worried? Most people have died.” Indeed, most humans have died. It is only those of us who live in the modern world who are still on this side of the Jordan. So I tell you reader, do not fret leaving this world. Most humans have died, and when you and I pass over, Jesus will be with us in our dying and thereafter.