You have incurable brain cancer and you’ve told the world that you are going to take a pill and end your life on November 1st. I don’t know if I can change your mind. You’ve obviously given this decision a lot of thought. You have a well put together website explaining your decision and have hundreds of supporters. Furthermore, if Kara Tippetts passionate plea didn’t sway you then it’s a long shot that I can write something more heartfelt and moving. But for your sake I need to try.
I’m asking you to give God one more day.
I visited your website and I watched your CNN story. Your reasons for your decision are well presented. You obviously are intelligent and articulate. You seem to have a very loving and caring family. You can tell that everyone has given this a lot of thought and that they have wrestled with it and become, at least in part, accepting of it. What saddened me however was that there was no mention of God or faith anywhere on your website or in anything anyone said in the videos. Not even a passing “we know that she will be in a better place” or “we know we will see her again one day.” I know that videos and writings have to be edited for time and space but there was not even a passing reference. Maybe you do believe in God and you just didn’t want to discuss it. Fair enough. But in making such a momentous decision, and in seeking to lead others to make the same decision in the future, I had to wonder, have you evaluated ALL the EVIDENCE or are you making a decision based on faulty or partial information? No doubt, many of the public appeals for you to change your mind are based on faith and you might already be tired of hearing it but in noticing the striking absence of any mention of faith in the media as the appointed day approaches I had to wonder, do you know what Faith is?
The Hebrew word for Faith, which is the first word for faith, means “Trust”. That, most fundamentally, is what faith is, Trust. But trust in what? In who? I’ve found that most people who don’t know God, have never really looked for him. Many people will tell you that they believe in God b/c they “feel” him. That’s nice, but that often leaves people, who don’t feel him, unimpressed. But He’s there and he can be easily found if one looks. Have you ever read any of the philosophical proofs for God’s existence? Are you scientific leaning by nature? There are whole books written with proofs for the existence of God from science. Here is a website of the author of one of those books: http://www.magiscenter.com.
And if God does exist, what is he like? This proof helps explain what the nature of God is. From this reasoning we can know that God is perfect.
As Christians, we can then know that when God, a perfect being, thinks of an image of himself, that image must therefore be a perfect image. However, to be a perfect image, the image itself must also possess all the qualities of God (otherwise it would be something less than perfect). In other words, the image of God will also be God. It is this image we call the “Son”, not because the image in somehow less than God but because the image has the same nature as God, whom we call the “Father”. Further, that image will exist in perfect relationship with God, and for that relationship to be perfect it must also have all the qualities of God. Therefore the relationship, the love between the Father and the Son, will also have the same nature as God. The living relationship of love between the Father and the Son will therefore also be a person of the same nature as God the Father and God the Son, it is this third person whom we call the Holy Spirit. Thus the Christian God is not a bigger version of ourselves, rather He is a God of relationship, three distinct persons in an eternal relationship of love with each other. That is why we say, “God is Love”. I know … heavy stuff.
What we believe as Christians is that because God is a God of relationship and love, he loves infinitely what he created … US. And because he loves us the second person of this Trinitarian God became man in the person of Jesus. He remained fully God and yet became fully man. Why did he do this? To suffer. At first, that seems counter intuitive but this is where His life becomes particularly relevant to yours (and ultimately to all of ours). When Jesus suffered and died on that cross He did not just feel the physical, mental and emotional pain of that day. Rather, because he is God, Jesus bore on that cross each and every moment of suffering of every single person that had ever and will ever live. He experienced personally every pain and every sorrow, every fear and every suffering of every person ever, including Yours. By doing that He made our suffering, which would otherwise be pointless, infinitely valuable. Jesus has already suffered every moment you will experience from now until you pass and the good news is, he has already defeated it, he has already successfully passed through your suffering. Of course, the question follows, if He has already successfully defeated your suffering, why do we have to suffer at all?
Love. You see, God so loves you that he took on your suffering and bore it, even though it was unimaginably difficult. He did it because he loves you. He did that so you would not have to face suffering and death alone. He asks from you to do only that which He is equally willing to do for you. If you are willing, out of love, to bear this suffering, He will give you an unimaginable reward – eternal life. He will give you a life of an eternal relationship of love, untethered by time, space or matter. It will be an eternal life of love with Him and with every other person who has accepted this offer of relationship.
You’ve said that on November 1st you are going to take a pill and end your life by quietly going to sleep. You’ve said you’re doing this in part because of your relationships of love with your family and friends. You want to spare them the sight and pain of your suffering. That is understandable, even admirable. But before you close your eyes for the last time there is one more relationship to take into account. It is the most important of all your relationships because it is the one that allows all of your other relationships to survive the moment of death. So I ask you, give one day to the Lord. Read the proofs for God’s existence. If you never have, read the Bible, try the Gospel of Matthew. Pray. Just close your eyes and talk to God and just tell him what you think and feel. Tell him that you’re hurt, tell him you’re scared and angry. Tell him you feel cheated because your life is being cut short to soon. Tell him you’re sorry for the things you have done wrong and thank him for happy moments and beautiful relationships you have had in your life.
Of course, I hope that if you give God one day you will see the value of giving him all the rest.