Lady Lydia Speaks
There's been a lot of talk by the death-lovers, who say that Terri is no good to anyone and that her life is not worth living. That may sound like a logical reason for starving her, but someone loves her. Is this not important? When babies are born, they are totally unable to feed themselves. To give them nourishment so that they may live, someone has to look after them and feed them. Babies are a lot of work, but they belong to someone, and someone loves them. Just because they can't look after themselves does not mean they are not of value to someone.
I have friends whose mothers are caring for their own mothers, either at home or in assisted living centers, because they cannot care for themselves. These women love their mothers, even though their mothers are "no use to anyone," according to the world's reasoning. They are still human beings of value to them.
Terri's family loves her, not just because she is theirs, but because of the love she gave them during her lifetime. She was once a lively, vibrant person who brought joy into their lives. They see her not just as she is now. They have memories of the life they shared together from her birth, through her childhood, her young adulthood, and even now. These memories are part of that relationship between them. We felt the same way about our mother and grandmother. We loved her because of the past and because of the love she provided for us over the years.
My own mother-in-law had a feeding tube after a stroke, which rendered her unable to swallow. She was at home, and my husband managed the feeding and care of her. She did eventually manage to swallow a little on her own. She had to be looked after as though she was a baby, but we all loved her and valued her. She was part of our lives. Years later she did pass on naturally, but we still miss her. When someone you love goes away, it is like a missing piece of a puzzle or a missing player in a stage drama. Worse than that, it causes grief to those who love them. People in grief also have trouble taking care of themselves. Should we impose grief on others just because their loved one cannot look after herself?
My sister-in-law had a Down's Syndrome child. The child could not take care of herself at first, and the family had to see to her care. Eventually she learned skills that would enable her to be more independent. She still cannot fully look after herself, but she is precious to that family. They love her, and that is why they value her. Though she cannot possibly fend for herself, someone who loves her would gladly do it, for the love they feel. And, though it may not be obvious to others, these people who are unable to fend for themselves give back love to those who care for them. Anyone who has cared for a relative will tell you that they receive an ample amount of love from those they look after, even if it is only through a loving look.
Though there may be people on the earth who are of "no use" to anyone or who apparently have no one who loves them and cares for them, God created all people, and He loves them.
They are more valuable than the grass of the field (Matthew 6:30). They are more valuable than the birds of the air (Matthew 10:31). Through other human beings, God provides for them. Those who care for people who cannot look after themselves develop special qualities that would not have been there had they not had the job of caring for a helpless human being. They are blessed by God. When we remove those who have to be cared for, we lose more than just that person--we lose the ability to serve others, which is a rare and precious skill. We also lose the blessings of God, for "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these of these, My brethen, you have done it unto Me" (Matthew 25:40).
In short, when we eliminate those amongst us who are helpless, we eliminate the chance to serve Christ. These people are in our midst for a reason: that those responsible for them may have the opportunity of doing good to others.
What is the proper response to those who cannot look after themselves? "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6) . Such people should not be looked upon as an inconvenience, but a calling and an opportunity to do good. Those who advocate the death of this loved one are leaving out the quality of love.
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