Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preserving Life

Life- there are many cliques to describe it, there are many different ways of explaining it. In the end we all enjoy it to some degree and want to live as long as we can.

Today I was asked in prison self defense training "if you were attacked would you attack back physically to main or kill?" Of course the answer should be yes I want to preserve my life. But is perserving life the point of living?

Life is it about the length, is it about the perserving of it? Jesus said "whoever who loses His life for my sake will find it." This may be literal but in many cases this will be proverbial. Do we hold onto life so tightly that we try to love life more than anything else.

Do we love life more than anything else? Do we love perserving our breath here on earth to the detrimate of others?

While I pondered the question of maiming someone else to perserve my own life in prison. It brought me back to the reason why I walked into a prison freely in the first place. It was to share the hope, love, and life of Jesus. To me worrying about perserving my life goes in direct opposition to Jesus and the way He lived His life.

Jesus' gave His life for something greater than Himself. He gave Himself for the love of humanity.
His life meant something. Does my life mean something? Is there concepts, principles, or people that I would be willing to give my life to?

Life takes on a different tone when living with someone with a life shortening disease. Death and life is a conversation that can't be shied away from. We as a family are going to experience it sooner rather than later. How does this affect the way we live each day? It is impossible for us to preserve Kyle's life, we may prolonge it but the outcome is still going to happen. Reality it is going to happen to all of us just it is more immenent when we think about Kyle.

So what does that mean? For us there might not be a tomorrow to do all the things we wanted to do. Each day is precious but it is short. The words that we want to say have to be said today, the experiences we want need to happen now, the example we want to share needs to happen before it is to late.

As I think through the question of would I maim or kill someone trying to take my life? The answer is no because preserving my life for the sake of preservation is not the way I live my life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

what is different?

What started off as a good idea, no a perfect idea went horribly wrong. In believing that God created man and earth to be perfect I believe that the accounts in the beginning of Genesis are a depiction of perfect harmony.

I have been thinking a lot lately of what makes what we experience here on earth different than heaven. The pain, hatred, sorrow, pride, bigotry, was not what God had in mind when earth was created.

I have had numerous people ask me of late "why does God hate me?" The question means  the circumstance in my life are so bad that if there is a God he must be punishing me because it is so awful. Is that true for anyone? I don't believe it is, but I do think that there is enough garbage that happens in the world to make us think that at times.

What would it look if life was full of perfect people?  That is one small aspect of heaven. As I am thinking about this what does it mean to be perfect? Even when I do the "right" thing most of the time my motives aren't pure.

The idea of perfection when it comes to people is hard to comprehend. People do good things, and there are great examples of love, sacrifice, and courage in our history. But there is also much more examples of anger and hate. It pops its head up in all of our lives. What does it look like to have a pure motive? A pure motive is one that does not put self as the top beneficiary. In life we look at every problem and situation with us as the center. How does this affect me, my beliefs, values, and quality of life?  It is extremely hard to even think of life without being selfish at the core.

Trust, faith, patient, kindness, and self-control (among other attributes) do not come easy or natural to us. They may come natural in certain settings but put us in the tough or threatening situation and those attributes dimish very quickly.

I fully believe one of the main differences between earth and heaven is not having self at the center of every problem or decision.

It is interesting to think about trusting God, if God indeed created everyone than there is no bias. There is no bias toward certain races, gender, special needs, intellegence. How come I find it easier to trust humans who have biases (we all have them) then a God who is above bias?

Life on this earth will be difficult and imperfect in so many ways, but the desire for something perfect has to be one of thoughts when I think about heaven.

Monday, November 5, 2012

We all have normal childhoods because we don't know any different

Jill and I were talking about the many questions that we have been asked about Kyle. Many are asked about his sleeping habits- "does he sleep in his wheelchair?" "Or how does he go to the bathroom?"

Most are asked by children full of curiousity and wonder, not being exposed to handicapped children they don't know. One of the basic premises that surround these questions "is Kyle like us?" or "is he inhuman in someway?"

It is very easy on a very basic human level to see those not like us and have second thoughts or aprehensions that there is something wrong with them.

As a child we have thoughts that everyone's homelife upbringing is the same as ours. Everyone had basically the same experiences as us. Recently one of the guys in my prison class said as a child he thought white people didn't go to church because he never saw them in his African American congregation.

How many untrue thoughts do we have about others because we just assume? We never experienced something or saw it for ourselves so we think it isn't true?

As Jill walks through stores with Kyle and the look of disdain or fear of a wheelchair apears on peoples faces Jill will remark "you can't catch it."

Either consciously or subconsciously we teach our children about other people through the way we act and not act.

There are some things that Ayden and Ellyse experience that is going to be natural for them that would be totally foreign to most. For instance Ellyse has helped get Kyle on the toilet and it is natural. Both of them take Kyle for a walk in his wheelchair. This may not seem like a big deal but there is strength needed and care. It is very easy for cracks and bumps to derail a wheelchair.

Will this affect both of them in their lives, career choices, and the type of people they will be? I believe so. I think that at least Ellyse will end up caring for people in some capacity.

To continue to push ourselves through our prejudices, pre concieved ideas, and the unknown is difficult. But in the end we are cheating ourselves if we embrace untrue notions.