Letter to the Editor


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

If Staff Writer Colin Van Westen's purpose with his latest "Colin You Out" column is to stir up controversy, or try to promote permanent solutions to possibly temporary health issues, he's accomplished his goal. Not being a fan of previous offerings, when I saw his composition titled "Iowa needs to allow assisted-suicide, I was less than enthused to see what was being presented. And, as on prior occasions, I was not disappointed, that is to say, I continued to be disappointed with the content and rationale.

From the standpoint of someone nearly three times Colin's estimated age, I categorically believe that his solution to help sufferers kill themselves flies in the face of what I consider to be none of his business. It was God's business that all of us arrived on planet Earth in the first place, and it remains His business as to the time and circumstances of our respective departures. Heck, we don't even approve bond issues or get laws made with 59 percent of people's agreement. It's just a number. Reality is God's Son died for 100 percent of us. Now there's a number!

A friend told me that assisted suicide is the fix some folks see as the "solution" to health care for the elderly. He's wise on most topics, so I don't doubt him on this one. My overreaching view on the matter is that not wanting to suffer is at the core of the proponents. It is as if there is no value in suffering. If you were raised in a Christian home, as I suspect the great majority of us were, I bet you heard mention of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. It wasn't just a noble deed. It was for each and every one of us, then and now. Lest you think I know little of suffering, allow me to go deeper. My mother died in 1967, of liver cancer. Fortunately, I was able to be at her bedside daily and be of comfort to her. I was 21. We never once spoke about "mercy killing, euthanasia, or ending it all. Pray we did, and she passed into her Savior's arms with dignity. Was she free of pain? Not on your life. Uniting her suffering with the grace she received through being a Christian made all the difference. It would have been nice to have hospice care, but that was not available at the time.

So in conclusion, I offer this. From the little book of daily sayings by Barbara Johnson titled "I Don't Suffer From Insanity ... I enjoy every minute of it, comes this entry for May 16: "Pain is inevitable. We can't prevent it, and sometimes we can't stop it once it's started. But we can choose not to be miserable. Invite Jesus to come into your fiery furnace with you, and he will place his loving hands under you and lift you up into his strong arms of protection. And there is this anonymous bit of wisdom: When you conquer your fear of death, you will conquer your fear of living.

Bill Kersting, Spencer