If we accept the principle that universal human rights are worth embracing, then all human life must be included within this ideal. That's what "universal" means. Human rights begin when human life begins and ends with life's natural conclusion. Anything else is either ignorance or sophistry and bigotry." -- Mark Davis Pickup
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
In October of 2006, I was invited to Lansing Michigan to give a keynote address to a community fundraising banquet for the Mother Teresa House for the care of the terminally ill. (For photographs of the event go to: http://www.motherteresahouse.org/BENE_06/VIEW_BENE_06.HTM )
According to their website, “Mother Teresa House is a communion of persons inspired by Mother Teresa, in which the terminally ill find a home and care in the love of Jesus Christ.” And that’s exactly what happens at Mother Teresa House. Followers of Jesus Christ give unconditional love and a final earthly home to terminally ill people who are homeless, those who have few supports or are alone in the world. For the last few months of their lives, they are adopted by volunteers at MTH. Mother Teresa House can serve up to four people at a time.
The care they provide is love not rocket science. The science of pain relief is left to health care providers. Mother Teresa House works in concert with medical people but they provide that which is most important: love, acceptance, and shoe leather Christian witness. They understand the human anguish of the Psalmist’s words:
“I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul.
I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
(Psalm 142. 1, 4-6a, NKJV)
God’s people in Lansing have rallied behind the work of Mother Teresa House. Evangelical and Catholic Christians have come together in this outreach for Christ to the dying and destitute of their community. (Romans 12.3-5)
I can think of no higher privilege for people who live in hope -- having encountered the living Christ -- than to share that hope with a lost soul about to leave this world. By our actions of practical care, acceptance and expressed love, they are worthy emissaries of our Savior.
Like the old chorus says, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” By their actions and unity, Christians of Lansing Michigan speak volumes to their community about Christ’s love that transcends denominationalism, and God’s wish that none would be lost. (2Peter 3.9b)