Strained mercy

"The quality of mercy is not strained;It droppeth as the gentle rain from heavenUpon the place beneath. It is twice blest;It blesseth him that gives and him that takes..."It is an attribute to God himself;And earthly power doth then show likest God'sWhen mercy seasons justice." —William ... Continue reading

Blizzard memories and winter compassion

Between February 14 and 15, 1958, more than 14" of snow fell in the Baltimore/Washington area. Temperatures dropped close to zero on the 16th. Power lines were down, and my sister and I were in the dark and cold with our father, who wasn't used to taking taking care of us. But he did well and we all ... Continue reading

The joys and horrors of sight

I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day. I Can See Clearly Now by Jimmy Cliff (popularized by Johnny Nash in 1972)Today I paid a visit to my retina doctor and now I'm ... Continue reading

A Christian perspective on suffering

Our national debate about Terri Schiavo has caused us all to think more about the purposes of life, and specifically about how we ought to respond to suffering.Christians have long wrangled with questions about suffering: why does it exist; what purposes does it serve; what does it tell us about ... Continue reading

When does life have value?

As many as 26 disabled-rights groups are protesting the decision to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, according to Not Dead Yet. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin has joined the throng, as has Democrat presidential hopeful Rev. Jesse Jackson.Contrary to the way the story is being framed, is isn't ... Continue reading

Servanthood and the Schiavo Protocol

Jane was in the prime of her life when she was diagnosed with ALS. She had a husband, children and a busy, fulfilling career. She was respected by her colleagues and frequently sought out for her knowledge and wisdom. Life was good, which made the diagnosis of ALS an even greater ... Continue reading

Voices crying in the wilderness

Imagine a military junta that has killed two million of its population of 32 million in the past two decades because of their skin colour and religion. Imagine a regime that has caused so much terror within its own borders that six million people are internally displaced. Is this a description of ... Continue reading

All creatures great and small…

All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all. —All Things Bright and Beautiful, a hymn by Cecil Alexander I suppose that I would have to say that I had not much more than a dim curiosity about animals growing up. That ... Continue reading