Thou Shalt Not Kill
Notes from the Book (God's Psychiatry): God made us to live with each other, and the very process of living requires certain rules. God laid down five rules for us to live with each other. The first one is: "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13).
This applies (first) to our own selves. We did not create our lives, and we do not have the authority to destroy our lives. The very fact of life carries with it an inescapable obligation to live.
Murder, too, is prohibited.
Also forbidden are the destructive emotions of men: fear, hate, jealousy, anger, envy, anxiety, excessive grief, and the others. To counteract them requires developing within our lives the healing and life-giving emotions such as faith, hope, laughter, creativeness, and love. Love, for example, is a process of giving.
Positively, it means to live and help live.
Mother's Notes in the Margins: Mother's mind was ablaze with questions, it seems. She wrote:
war & self-defense
mercy killing by doctor
kill by our words
God values life
My Notes: What stands out to me more than anything in this portion of the book is one word Mother circled: anxiety. My mother tended to be an anxious person. She worried about things ... try hard as she may not to. She knew God didn't want her to worry, but she did. Her worry came naturally. She worried about my father (who worked in law enforcement) when he was out working a case. She worried about her children (with good reason ... we tended to keep her knees calloused until the day she died). She worried about her grandchildren (who also kept her knees bent).
One thing I can know for sure, when Mother died, she left all her anxieties in this world for the joys of heaven. As my brother and I sat vigilant by her deathbed, two people called and told me the same story. Just recently, they said, Mother had expressed her desire to leave the worries of this life for the face-to-face presence of Jesus. She loved her Jesus. More than she loved us. And that's okay by me.
Still, for a year and a half I've struggled with Mother's death. Before I had two seconds to mourn her, another tragedy hit my family that has rocked me far more than losing Mother or Daddy. Their deaths make sense in the light of this. We live our lives and, if we are Christians, we die to gain our reward.
So, for a year and a half, I've been tossed like a ship on the Galilee during a storm. Then, about two weeks ago, I admitted something out loud that I'd only toyed with in my mind. "I don't want to die," I said to a friend. "I just don't want to live any more."
Just saying it out loud ... and the healing began. Don't ask me why. I don't know.
I do know enough to know that death by my own hand is not what God has in mind for me. His desire is that I lean into Him and trust Him with ... my life ... and my death, which will be at His command. Not mine.
Meanwhile, I have a life to live. I have a life to give.
Father God ... let the healing not only begin, but continue in the days, the weeks, and the months ahead.
"I am ready."
[photo by Eva Marie Everson]