Maggie Karner is a marvel.
For 10 years she has been head of LCMS Life and Health Ministries. In that position she has led our Synod in sanctity of life issues. She has encouraged congregations to stand firm on Scriptural teachings that show that all life is important and valued by God. She's been involved in the mercy ministry of the Synod and has helped to establish women's pregnancy centers in Russia and Malaysia.
Maggie Karner has cancer. She suffers from an aggressive brain tumor for which there isn't a cure.
With such a diagnosis it would be tempting to consider looking at ways of ending her life and stopping the suffering that has come. A lot of press is being given to a woman named Brittany Maynard who suffers from the same cancer. She has moved to Oregon and plans to take her own life soon.
Many have labeled Maynard as a courageous person.
To me, Karner is the courageous one. She has chosen not to see her diagnosis as a death sentence but instead as an opportunity to live each day in the grace and mercy of God.
Karner writes, "As a Christian with a Savior who loves me dearly and who has redeemed me from a dying world, I have a higher calling. God wants me to be comfortable in my dependence on Him and others, to live with Him in peace and comfort no matter what comes my way."
In fact, Karner sees her situation as a learning experience - for her three daughters. "I want my girls to learn servanthood and selflessness as they care for me. And I also want them to know that, for Christians, our death is not the end...Christ's resurrection from that borrowed grave confirms that death could not hold Him, and it cannot hold me either - a baptized child of God!"
I encourage you to read about Maggie Karner on the Synod's website. Go to www.lcms.org, scroll down to "top stories," and look for "Karner responds to terminally ill woman's suicide plan."
You'll be inspired by Karner's confident faith. You'll want to pray for her. And for Brittany Maynard too.