Conversations with doctors and nurses, yesterday, and again this morning, focus on the moral and ethical issues that we are facing in Rich’s care. The path between playing God and “Inshallah” (fatalistic view of If God wills).
The path between playing God and doing nothing. Choices. Medications, tracheotomy, life support, feeding tubes, or letting go, and if so, how…
This morning, I have been reading in John 14 and 15. Over and over Jesus promises another Helper, His presence, and a promise that whatsoever we ask, He will do that the Father be glorified. In Romans 8, I am reminded that I don’t always know what to ask, and that the spirit prays with groans after the will of God.
When I was a nurse, over 25 years ago now, I struggled with these ethical and moral dilemmas as a caregiver. How much more as the person to whom the medical staff are turning and asking, how do you want to proceed? What do you want to do?
Rich is in pain. They give him a mild sedative and a pain medication which, in combination help him to sleep. It takes all of his effort, when he is awake to communicate with his eyes. His pneumonia is worse and they may need to do a bronchoscopy. Humanly and medically speaking, Rich’s condition is hopeless. One of the doctors and I talked this morning about the issues we face. He admitted that this is difficult. “But,” he pointed out, “if you are looking for an answer, where is it? He is alive only because of the treatment he is receiving now.”
Is that playing God? And if not, when IS it playing God. I believe that God has given us these technologies to help people, but, as the doctor I was just talking with pointed out, “Yes, these technologies are amazing – but they are a two-edged sword.”
As I ramble I am reminded of another two-edged sword. The word of God, which is “…quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
As I read John 14 &15, what do I ask of my Lord? Lord, raise Rich up. Bring healing to his body. Raise him up. And then I am drawn to remember what happened after John 14 and I see Jesus in Gethsemane, pleading with His father to take this cup from His hands. But Jesus adds, “nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.”
I do not want to have to make these difficult decisions. As I consider them all, I also pray, “Lord, take these decisions out of my hands.” And HE knows what I mean by this, either heal Rich or…
But for now, Rich is with us and I will rejoice in every moment I still have with me this precious man who is my husband. I will be thankful for every chance the Lord is giving for our family to talk with Rich and bring healing to relationships. I will encourage Rich in this Fight of Faith, until we see which healing the Lord grants to Him – healing here, or healing in one of the mansions Jesus is preparing for him.
Thank you Jesus, that you are with us, and especially that You are with Rich in this hour. Hold Rich to yourself dear Lord, and guide us in your paths. Amen and Amen.